Making the Most of HMIS Data: A Guide to Understanding Homelessness and Improving Programs in Your Community

July 2005

This guidebook was developed to provide practical guidance on how communities and homeless assistance providers can use the data stored in HMIS to improve homeless assistance programs and better serve homeless persons. The guidebook focuses on how to use the rich set of data stored in HMIS to learn about the homeless people in your community and thereby develop more effective policies and programs to meet their needs. Based on the experiences of CoCs and researchers across the country, the guidebook includes chapters on using HMIS to understand the characteristics and service needs of homeless people, analyze how homeless people use services, and evaluate program effectiveness and outcomes. The guidebook also provides an introduction to the techniques of unduplication and extrapolation for the purposes of analyzing HMIS data.

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