HMIS Lead Agency Designation - Metro Denver Continuum of Care

March 13, 2018 - Letter from Will Connelly, Executive Director, Metro Denver Homeless Initiative

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about significant changes underway for the Colorado Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). As you know, we rely on the HMIS to collect and securely store data on individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the state. A viable HMIS strengthens our understanding of homelessness (and homeless programs), helps the community measure and improve the performance of our homeless system, and allows us to use data to inform resource allocation and planning.

As the Continuum of Care (CoC) Board and Collaborative Applicant for the metro Denver region, MDHI bears the responsibility for providing an effective regional HMIS. Thanks to many of you and your team members, all three CoC in the state of Colorado have agreed to pursue a new HMIS vendor solution called Clarity Human Services (Bitfocus). MDHI and its statewide partners in the Statewide HMIS Governance Collaborative are preparing for the imminent transition from our current system to the new one. You will hear more details about that transition soon.

In addition to the software vendor change, MDHI is changing organizationally and structurally. Last week, the MDHI Board of Directors voted to designate MDHI as the HMIS Lead Agency for the metro region. For the last nine years, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has been playing this role, and MDHI thanks CCH for their work in administering the HMIS. The HMIS team at CCH is a committed group that has an incredible history with and knowledge of HMIS, and MDHI is indebted to them for administering HMIS for almost a decade and supporting various committees and the overall work of MDHI.

The MDHI board determined that bringing the administration of HMIS in-house will lead to a more direct, streamlined approach in management of the system and will lead to improvements in the quality, reliability, accessibility, and usefulness of the data. The board also believes that this change will strengthen accountability and result in cost savings.

MDHI will transition to this HMIS Lead Agency role by September 1, 2018, as CCH’s HMIS contracts with HUD for the Metro Denver CoC end at that date. We again thank CCH for their work and look forward to partnering closely with them and all HMIS users to help make a smooth transition. 

I welcome any questions you may have at this time. Thank you for all you do to end homelessness.

Will Connelly
Executive Director
Metro Denver Homeless Initiative