what is Homeless Management Information System

HMIS stands for Homeless Management Information System. It is a national Congressional directive administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HMIS is a database used to collect and store aggregate data regarding the characteristics of homeless individuals and families as well as services they are receiving.

HUD developed the HMIS concept to address the need for better data on homelessness at the local and national levels.

Congress issued a directive to HUD to collect data on the extent of homelessness in America, as well as the effectiveness of the McKinney homeless assistance programs in addressing homelessness. These programs had been in existence for some 15 years and there had never been an overall review or comprehensive analysis on the extent of homelessness or how to address it. Congress believed that it was essential to develop an unduplicated count of homeless people, and an analysis of their patterns of use of assistance (HUD McKinney homeless assistance as well as other assistance both targeted, and not targeted to homeless people), including how they enter and exit the homeless assistance system and the effectiveness of assistance.