How Many California Continuums of Care Recently Changed Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Software Vendors?

-11 or 27% of 41 recently changed HMIS software vendors-

Joe Colletti, PhD
October 2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently provided a Data Strategy for CoCs to best use HMIS to accomplish the ultimate goal of ending homelessness in their jurisdictions. The strategy emphasizes data quality and accuracy, system-level data analysis, and project-level data analysis. HUD has also produced new reports and tools to help CoCs fulfill the strategy.

As a result, the software that HMIS vendors provide should be aligned with the strategy to end local homelessness for each of the CoCs that they serve. Helping ensure that CoCs are compliant with HUD’s standards for data collection, management, and reporting standards is important. Helping CoCs to collect complete and accurate data, to seamlessly share data in real time, to develop the capacity to analyze data at system and project levels, and to evaluate their efforts, including real-time bed availability assessment and assignment, is imperative.

As noted in table 1, 11 or 27% of the 41 California continuums of care changed HMIS software vendors. The change from one year to another is highlighted in bold.

Table 1. California continuums of care and HMIS software vendors: 2015 – 2018

Continuum of Care2015201620172018
San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
San Francisco CoCSocial SolutionsSocial SolutionsBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Oakland, Berkeley/Alameda County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareBitfocus, Inc
Sacramento City & County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Santa Rosa, Petaluma/Sonoma County CoCSocial SolutionsSocial SolutionsSocial SolutionsSocial Solutions
Richmond/Contra Costa County CoC

Mediware*

MediwareBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties CoCCommunity Technology AllianceCommunity Technology AllianceMediwareMediware
Marin County CoCCaseworthyCaseworthyBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Watsonville/Santa Cruz City & County CoC

Mediware*

MediwareMediwareBitfocus, Inc
Mendocino County CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
Turlock, Modesto/Stanislaus County CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
Stockton/San Joaquin County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Daly City/San Mateo County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Visalia/Kings, Tulare Counties CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
Fresno City & County/Madera County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Roseville, Rocklin/Placer, Nevada CountiesMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Redding/Shasta County CoCBell Data SystemsBell Data Systems MediwareMediware
Napa City & County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Vallejo/Solano County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Chico, Paradise/Butte County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Merced City & County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Davis, Woodland/Yolo County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Humboldt County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Yuba City/Sutter County CoCBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data Systems
El Dorado County CoCBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data Systems
Tuolumne, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa Counties CoCBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data Systems
Tehama County CoCBitfocus, IncBitfocus,
Inc
Bitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Alpine, Inyo, Mono Counties CoC*Bell Data SystemsDid not submitDid not submitBell Data Systems
Los Angeles City & County CoCAdsystech IncAdsystech IncBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
San Diego City and County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County CoCAdsystech IncAdsystech IncAdsystech IncBitfocus, Inc
Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Bakersfield/Kern County CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
Long Beach CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Pasadena CoCAdsystech IncAdsystech IncBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Riverside City & County CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
San Bernardino City & County CoCEccovia Solutions**Eccovia SolutionsEccovia SolutionsEccovia Solutions
Oxnard, San Buenaventura/Ventura County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
Glendale CoCAdsystech IncAdsystech IncBitfocus, IncBitfocus, Inc
Imperial County CoCMediware*MediwareMediwareMediware
San Luis Obispo County CoCBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data SystemsBell Data Systems

*Bowman became Mediware and recently became WellSky
**Client Track became Eccovia

HUD has been working to standardize communication between HMIS vendors, CoC HMIS lead agencies, and system administrators. The purpose of the 2017 HMIS Data Dictionary is to help HMIS vendors and HMIS lead agencies identify the data elements required by HUD and to help with understanding the function and specific use of each element. The 2018 HMIS Data Standards Manual aims to help CoCs, HMIS Lead Agencies, HMIS System Administrators, and HMIS Users “understand the data elements that are required in an HMIS to meet participation and reporting requirements established by HUD and the federal partners.”

As a result, HUD states that HMIS software

  • “must be able to collect all the data elements defined within these HMIS Data Standards, support the system logic identified in the HMIS Data Dictionary, and ensure that the visibility of data elements is appropriate to the Project Type and Federal Partner Funding Sources for any given project.”

HUD notes that

  • “There are many software products on the market that communities across the county have chosen to use as their HMIS. Each product has unique features and was built to meet the different data collection needs of each community.”

and that

  • “Each software vendor should provide the guidance, support, and documentation necessary for the CoC to understand the system they are using.”

HUD also notes that

  • “Communities may elect to add data elements or maintain historical data element collection beyond what is specified in the Data Standards as long as it does not impact the ability of the CoC to accurately collect and report on the required data elements. In these cases, HMIS Leads should work directly with their HMIS vendors to meet their individual needs.”

Thus, each HMIS software vendor should be providing each CoC served with a customizable software system that helps CoCs fulfill the data strategy by effectively providing housing and services systemically. Each CoC should ensure that they have what is needed from their HMIS software vendor to do so and receive any technical assistance necessary.

 

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