A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a database used to record and track client-level information on the characteristics and service needs of people experiencing homelessness. An HMIS ties together homeless service providers within a community to help create a coordinated and effective housing and service delivery system.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other planners and policy-makers at the federal, state, and local levels use aggregate HMIS data to obtain better information about the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Specifically, an HMIS can be used to produce an unduplicated count of people experiencing homelessness, understand patterns of needs and service use, and measure the effectiveness of homeless programs and systems.
Austin / Travis County’s HMIS is led by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO). The HMIS staff are responsible for the local administration of the HMIS software and they provide technical assistance to participating agencies and end users. The vendor that supplies the product of HMIS Service Point is WellSky.
Agencies that participate in the Austin / Travis County HMIS are referred to as “participating agencies.” Each participating agency is required to follow certain guidelines to help maintain data privacy and accuracy.