HMIS Information

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Useful Acronyms

Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR): HUD’s annual report to Congress on the nature and extent of homelessness nationwide. The report details yearly homelessness counts, demographics, trends, and service usage; reports are compared and contrasted to data collected for previous years, helping to determine if homelessness is increasing or decreasing.

Annual Performance Report (APR): The APR is a performance based report that HUD uses to track program progress and accomplishments of HUD homeless assistance programs on an annual basis. The majority of this report is pulled from the UHMIS system and then reported to HUD in the HDX system.This report was formerly known as the Annual Progress Report.

Bed Utilization: An indicator of whether shelter beds are occupied on a particular night or over a period of time.

Contributory HMIS Organization (CHO): An organization that operates a contributory homeless assistance program or homelessness prevention program or contributory non-homeless assistance program.

Chronically Homeless Individual: An unaccompanied homeless adult individual (persons 18 years or older) with a disabling condition (see definition below) who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more OR has had at least four (4) separate occasions of homelessness in the past three (3) years. To be considered chronically homeless, persons must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) and/or in an emergency shelter/Safe Haven during that time. Persons under the age of 18 are not counted as chronically homeless. For purposes of the PIT, persons living in transitional housing at the time of the PIT count should not be included in this subpopulation category.

Chronically Homeless Family: A household with at least one adult member (persons 18 or older) who has a disabling condition (see definition below) and who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more OR has had at least four (4) separate occasions of homelessness in the past three (3) years. To be considered chronically homeless, persons must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) and/or in an emergency shelter/Safe Haven during that time. The subpopulation count should include all members of the household. For purposes of the PIT, persons living in transitional housing at the time of the PIT count should not be included in this subpopulation category.

Client: A living individual about whom a Contributory HMIS Organization (CHO) collects or maintains protected personal information: (1) because the individual is receiving, has received, may receive, or has inquired about services from a CHO; or (2) in order to identify service needs, or to plan or develop appropriate services within the CoC.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Federal HUD formula grant program providing communities with resources to address a variety of community development needs. CDBG is awarded to entitlement communities to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services.

Consolidated Plan: A long-term housing and community development plan developed by state and local governments and approved by HUD (24 CFR Part 91). The Consolidated Plan contains information on homeless populations and should be coordinated with the CoC plan.

Continuum of Care (CoC): The primary decision making entity defined in the funding application to HUD as the official body representing a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency. Utah has three CoCs: Salt Lake, Mountainland and Balance of State. The Salt Lake continuum consists of the Salt Lake and Tooele Counties. The Mountainland continuum consists of Utah, Summit, and Wasatch counties. The Balance of State continuum consists of all other counties not contained in the other two continua.

Data Recipient: A person who obtains PPI from an HMIS Lead Agency or from a CHO for research or other purposes not directly related to the operation of the HMIS, CoC, HMIS Lead Agency, or CHO.

Disabling Condition: Any one of (1) a disability as defined in Section 223 of the Social Security Act; (2) a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which is (a) expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration, (b) substantially impedes an individual’s ability to live independently, and (c) of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions; (3) a developmental disability as defined in Section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act; (4) the disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or any conditions arising from the etiological agency for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; or (5) a diagnosable substance abuse disorder.

Emergency Shelter (ES): A homeless program that is intended to provide short term support and emergency housing to homeless individuals. Individuals you are in sating in an emergency shelter as still considered literally homeless. Emergency shelter may take to from of a congregate shelter, motel vouchers, or a domestic violence shelter.

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG): ESG is a federal grant that is given to eligible states, cities, counties and territories. The ESG program provides funding to: (1) engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; (2) improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; (3) help operate these shelters; (4) provide essential services to shelter residents, (5) rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families, and (6) prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

End User (or User): An employee, volunteer, affiliate, associate, and any other individual acting on behalf of a CHO or HMIS Lead Agency who uses or enters data in the HMIS or another administrative database from which data are periodically uploaded to the HMIS.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): U.S. law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, these standards provide patients access to their medical records and give them more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed.

HMIS Participating Bed: For any residential homeless program, a bed is considered a “participating HMIS bed” if the program makes a reasonable effort to record all universal data elements on all clients served in that bed and discloses that information through agreed upon means to the HMIS Lead Agency at least once annually.

HMIS Software Solution Provider: An organization that sells, licenses, donates, builds or otherwise supplies the HMIS user interface, application functionality and database. The HMIS software solution that has been chosen to serve all three of Utah CoC is ClientTrack.

HMIS Vendor: A contractor who is paid to provide services for the operation of a CoC’s HMIS. An HMIS vendor includes an HMIS software solution provider, web server host, and data warehouse provider, as well as a provider of other contracted information technology or support.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS): The information system designated by the CoC to process Protected Personal Information (PPI) and other data in order to create an unduplicated accounting of homelessness within the CoC. An HMIS may provide other functions beyond unduplicated accounting.

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP): A program designed to assist households who would otherwise become homeless, and to quickly help re-house those who are homeless.

Housing Inventory Chart (HIC): The HIC is a point-in-time inventory of provider programs within your Continuum of Care that provide beds and units dedicated to serve persons who are homeless. It should reflect the number of beds and units available on the night designated for the count that are dedicated to serve persons who are homeless, per the HUD homeless definition.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): The only Federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Under the HOPWA program, HUD makes grants to local communities, States, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons medically diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD): A Federal organization aiming to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

Informed Consent: A client is informed of options of participating in an HMIS system and then specifically asked to consent. The individual needs to be of age and in possession of all of his faculties (for example, not mentally ill), and his/her judgment not impaired at the time of consenting (by sleep, illness, intoxication, alcohol, drugs or other health problems, etc.).

McKinney-Vento Act: The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 22, 1987. The McKinney-Vento Act funds numerous programs providing a range of services to homeless people, including the Continuum of Care programs: the Supportive Housing Program, the Shelter Plus Care Program, and the Single Room Occupancy Program, as well as the Emergency Shelter Grant Program.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP): This program was established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. NSP targets low and moderate income persons under 120% of area median income. Eligible activities include costs related to purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed and abandoned homes and residential properties. NSP grantees must use at least 25 percent of the funds appropriated for the purchase and redevelopment of abandoned or foreclosed homes or residential properties that will be used to house individuals or families whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the area median income.

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): includes important information on program priorities, general requirements, funding levels, and contacts for each program.

Non-Contributory CoC Program: A CoC Program that does not contribute PPI or other client-level data to an HMIS.

Participating CoC Program: A Contributory CoC Program that makes reasonable efforts to record all the universal data elements and all other required data elements as determined by HUD funding requirements on all clients served and discloses these data elements through agreed upon means to the HMIS Lead Agency at least once annually.

Performance Measures – A process that systematically evaluates whether your program’s efforts are making an impact on the clients you are serving.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): – Long-term, community-based housing that has supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities. This type of supportive housing enables the special needs populations to live independently as possible in a permanent setting. Permanent housing can be provided in one structure or in several structures at one site or in multiple structures at scattered sites.

Point in Time (PIT): – A snapshot of the homeless population taken on a given day. Since 2005, HUD requires all CoC applicants to complete this count every other year in the last week of January. This count includes a street count in addition to a count of all clients in emergency and transitional beds.

Protected Personal Information (PPI): Information about a client: (1) whose identity is apparent from the information or can reasonably be ascertained from the information; or (2) whose identity can, taking into account any methods reasonably likely to be used, be learned by linking the information with other available information or by otherwise manipulating the information.

Processing: An operation or set of operations performed on PPI, whether or not by automated means, including but not limited to collection, maintenance, use, disclosure, transmission and destruction of the PPI.

Quarterly Performance Reports (QPR): A reporting tool that HUD uses to track progress and accomplishments of HPRP funded programs on a quarterly basis. This report affects HPRP funding.

Rapid Re-Housing: Housing relocation and stabilization services and short-and/or medium-term rental assistance as necessary to help individuals or families living in shelters or in places not meant for human habitation move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. Eligible costs also include utilities, rental application fees, security deposits, last month’s rent, utility deposits and payments, moving costs, housing search and placement, housing stability case management, landlord-tenant mediation, tenant legal services, and credit repair.

Safe Haven: A Safe Haven is a form of supportive housing that serves hard-to-reach homeless persons with severe mental illness and other debilitating behavioral conditions that are on the street and have been unable or unwilling to participate in housing or supportive services. A Safe Haven project that has the characteristics of permanent supportive housing and requires clients to sign a lease may also be classified as permanent housing when applying for HUD funds. It is expected that clients will be reengaged with treatment services as they become stabilized and learn to trust service providers.

Shelter Plus (S+C): A program that provides grants for rental assistance for homeless persons with disabilities through four component programs: Tenant, Sponsor, Project, and Single Room Occupancy(SRO)Rental Assistance.

Street Outreach: Essential Services related to reaching out to unsheltered homeless individuals and families, connecting them with emergency shelter, housing, or critical services, and providing them with urgent, non-facility-based care. Eligible costs include engagement, case management, emergency health and mental health services, and transportation.

Supportive Services Only Program: Supportive Services Only (SSO) projects address the service needs of homeless persons. Projects are classified as this component only if the project sponsor is not also providing housing to the same persons receiving the services. SSO projects may be in a structure or operated independently of a structure, such as street outreach or mobile vans for health care.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Money set aside to give assistance to families in danger of becoming homeless. This money can be used for such things as back rental or utility payments, deposits, rent and utilities. This money is specific for preventing homelessness.

Transitional Housing (TH): The transitional housing component facilitates the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing. Homeless persons may live in transitional housing for up to 24 months and receive supportive services such as childcare, job training, and home furnishings that help them live more independently.

Unaccompanied Youth: Minors not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, including those living in inadequate housing such as shelters, cars, or on the streets. Also includes those who have been denied housing by their families and school-age unwed mothers who have no housing of their own.

Unduplicated Accounting of Homelessness: An unduplicated accounting of homelessness includes measuring the extent and nature of homelessness (including an unduplicated count of homeless persons), utilization of homelessness programs over time, and the effectiveness of homelessness programs.

Unduplicated Count of Homeless Persons: The number of people who are homeless within a specified location and time period. An unduplicated count ensures that individuals are counted only once regardless of the number of times they entered or exited the homeless system or the number of programs in which they participated. Congress directed HUD to develop a strategy for data collection on homelessness so that an unduplicated count of the homeless at the local level could be produced.

Universal Data Element (UDE): Data required to be collected from all clients serviced by homeless assistance programs using an HMIS. These data elements include date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity,veteran`s status, and Social Security Number (SSN). These elements are needed for CoCs to understand the basic dynamics of homelessness in their community and for HUD to meet the Congressional directive to support AHAR.

Victim Service Provider: A nonprofit or non-governmental organization including rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, domestic violence transitional housing programs, and other programs whose primary mission is to provide services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Written Consent: Written consent embodies the element of informed consent in a written form. A client completes and signs a document consenting to an understanding of the options and risks of participating or sharing data in an HMIS system. The signed document is then kept on file at the agency.