Data Analytics

What is the Homeless Management Information System?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that each metropolitan area use a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS is a database that collects and organizes specific data on people experiencing homelessness and the housing and homeless services that they receive. Collecting standardized data helps us better understand homelessness and allows us to measure the progress toward specific goals.

All Chicago serves as the Lead Agency designated by the CoC to operate the HMIS and to ensure the HMIS is administered in accordance with the HEARTH Act. In our role as administrator, we:

  • Collect standardized data on homelessness from partner agencies
  • Monitor and improve data quality on more than 400,000 unduplicated client records
  • Provide training and help desk support for more than 1,200 database users
  • Measure progress towards specific goals in preventing and ending homelessness
  • Analyze aggregate data and publish data dashboards
  • Share trends to drive discussion, strategy, policy, and funding at federal and local levels
  • Submit reports to HUD, such as the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems and Annual Homeless Assessment Report
  • Develop and monitor HMIS policies and procedures, in partnership with the HMIS Committee
  • Administer day-to-day HMIS operations, including vendor agreements and contracts

Resources for HMIS Users

HMIS & CoC Memoranda of Understanding

The Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) uses several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to inform and guide system work. MOUs outline the roles, responsibilities, and accountability structures for each Lead Agency, as established by the Chicago CoC.

Have a question about using HMIS? Contact us at