Homeless Management Information System

What is HMIS?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires its McKinney-Vento grantees to use a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data, and data on the provision of housing and services individuals and families experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness.
HMIS enables HUD to collect national data on the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Specifically, HMIS can be used to produce an unduplicated count of homeless persons, understand patterns of service use, and measure the effectiveness of homeless programs.
Each Continuum of Care is responsible for selecting an HMIS software solution that complies with HUD's data collection, management, and reporting standards. The NYC Department of Social Services (DSS) contracts with Foothold Technology to use AWARDS for HMIS. Many providers in NYC use AWARDS while others prefer to contract with vendors that offer equivalent systems and upload their data on a monthly basis into the HMIS Data Warehouse.

What Makes NYC's HMIS Different?

The NYC CoC HMIS is unique in that it is a Data Warehouse. The NYC Department of Social Services (DSS), as the HMIS Lead Agency for the NYC CoC, contracts with Foothold Technology to host the NYC HMIS Data Warehouse.
All participating NYC HMIS projects are responsible for uploading into the NYC HMIS Data Warehouse monthly by the 10th business day of the month. Providers upload to the NYC HMIS Data Warehouse in one of two ways:

  1. Agencies contract with Foothold Technology to use AWARDS (Foothold Technology) as their data system and upload into HMIS via a “one button” upload from their AWARDS database.
  2. Agencies contract with other software vendors for their data system (Non-AWARDS users) and upload into NYC HMIS via CSV (Comma Separated Values) files that must be formatted according to HUD's HMIS CSV specifications. Non-AWARDS users must ensure their vendor’s system collect all required HMIS data elements.

Who Should Participate?

The goal of the NYC CoC is to have 100% participation of all homeless service projects within NYC, regardless of funding source. Projects receiving the following funding are required to participate in HMIS:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
    • HUD: McKinney-Vento
    • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
    • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
    • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
    • Grant and Per Diem (GPD) projects
    • Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
    • Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
    • Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY)

*Victim Service Providers (VSPs) and projects with a target population of survivors of domestic violence (75%+ of clients/households) are prohibited from uploading client-level data to HMIS. CoC-funded domestic violence projects are required to use an HMIS comparable database that conforms to the HMIS Data Standards and is capable of producing all HMIS reports.