About HMIS

What is HMIS?

The Orange County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) tracks client demographic and service information on homeless and at risk clients served by participating Orange County service providers.  To find out more about HMIS, read About HMIS or How HMIS Works.

Homeless Management Information System Overview

Congress directed the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding the need for data and analysis on the extent of homelessness. Each Continuum of Care (CoC) would like continued HUD funding must have a computerized data collection system (often called “HMIS” or Homeless Management Information System in place that is able to:

  • Produce an unduplicated count of persons experiencing homelessness
  • Describe the extent and nature of homelessness locally, regionally, and nationally
  • Identify patterns of service use
  • Measure program effectiveness

HMIS is Orange County’s response to the HUD mandated implementation of a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database that collects and reports longitudinal client-level information about persons who access the homeless service system. HMIS is an online database used by homeless and at-risk service providers that records demographic and service usage data and produces an unduplicated count of the people using those services. The following link provides information on why HMIS was started: History of HMIS


To implement a community-wide database that tracks demographic and service usage data that will allow for a better understanding of homelessness and the root issues surrounding homelessness in our community.

Why it’s needed:

Fact-based information is crucial for making programmatic decisions and securing funding.

Provides an accurate count of the homeless rather than a projected estimation.

Who Should Participate:

Our community goal is that 100% of agencies who provide services to the homeless contribute client data to HMIS, regardless of funding source. Those who receive funding from the following Funder mandated programs are required to participate:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • Continuum of Care Program
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program
  • Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)
  • HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD/VASH)
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    • Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
  • Administration for Children and Families
    • Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs (RHY)

US Department of Veterans Affairs Recipients

  • Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) Program)

Children and Families Commission of Orange County (CFCOC)

What HMIS does:

  • Provides an unduplicated count of clients served
  • Tracks services used by homeless persons
  • Captures information from multiple agencies
  • Tracks service usage over time
  • Provides summary information about service usage and clients
  • Gauges community progress towards ending homelessness.

The HMIS Software Includes:

  •  Outcome Management
  •  Client demographic data collection
  •  Comprehensive client case management
  •  Information and Referral capabilities
  •  Bed maintenance, tracking and assignment module
  •  Group activities management
  •  Group case notes management
  •  Advanced security features
  •  Customer Support and Training
  •  Customized reporting capability
  •  Customized assessment capability


Benefits of HMIS:

For Homeless Men, Women and Children

  • A decrease in duplicated intakes and assessments
  • Coordinated case management

For Agencies

  • Development and management of client outcomes
  • Coordination of services, internally among agency programs, and externally with other providers
  • Preparing financial and programmatic reports for investors, boards, and other stakeholders
  • Collecting information for program design decisions

For Public Policy Makers and Advocates

  • Clarifies understanding of the extent and scope of homelessness
  • Identifies gaps in service
  • Provides statistics for making informed policy decisions