NH HMIS and Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter means “any facility with overnight sleeping accommodations, the primary purpose of which is to provide temporary shelter for the homeless in general or for specific populations of the homeless." ( HUD Glossary)

The entry/exit method should be used for all shelters requiring an entry, a continuous stay, and an exit. The length of stay will be calculated based on the number of nights between project entry and project exit and performance will include changes from project entry and project exit data collection stages. Funder preference for emergency shelter projects is the use of the project entry/exit date method except for projects where clients are permitted to enter and exit on an irregular basis (e.g., mass shelter). Year round shelters use this tracking method in the NH HMIS.

The night-by-night method should be used for shelters that allow clients to enter and exit on an irregular basis and do not require a continuous stay and must instead rely on a method of tracking “bed nights”. In this method: (1) all data required to be collected at project entry is collected; (2) the project records every discrete date or series of dates that the client utilizes a bed; (3) the system maintains historical data on the nights sheltered; (4) the duration of each stay can be accurately determined and aggregated to calculate each client’s total length of stay in the project; and (5) the client may be exited or the system may be designed to automatically generate an exit after an extended absence. Length of stay is calculated on bed nights used in this method. Utilization of the night-by-night method does not mean that an HMIS must identify a client in a specific bed. If the HMIS supports a custom module that identifies clients in a bed that module may continue to be used. However, use of that module does not necessarily equate with the new night-by-night model. Seasonal Shelters use this tracking method on the NH HMIS


HMIS Resources

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