The HMIS User Agreement describes the HMIS user’s responsibilities and the code of ethics. HMIS is a computerized system meant to collect information on men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness to better serve their needs. The HMIS provides an unduplicated count of clients served in the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Continuum of Care (CoC). Data entered into the HMIS is used to facilitate services for clients experiencing homelessness, use aggregated data to understand the needs of our community's homeless including gaps in service and strategic planning for future services, and secure funding for local homeless projects. 


 The Purpose of the HMIS User Agreement

The purpose of the HMIS User Agreement is:

  1. For every HMIS user to affirm the basic confidentiality and privacy rights of all data entered into the HMIS
  2. Ensure all information collected as a part of the HMIS is protected by complying with the policies, responsibilities, and procedures required of HMIS users


HMIS User Policy 

  • The CoC Clearinghouse approves all HMIS policies before they are implemented.
  • Although all participating client data should be entered into the HMIS, data is only shared across programs with the express permission of the client (through the Client Release of Information/Consent form).
  • All users are approved by an HMIS participating agency that has an active, signed Agency Participation Agreement (APA). The APA outlines specific actions, policies, and requirements to ensure the protection of client data.
  • Data entered into the HMIS should be as accurate and complete as possible and in accordance with the Cincinnati/Hamilton County HMIS Data Quality Plan.
  • Aggregate reports (not including identifiable information) from the HMIS are used to evaluate CoC system performance, identify service gaps, assist in strategic planning, and secure funding.
  • Client-specific information contained within HMIS is used exclusively to target services to the client's needs.
  • Refusal of a client to provide consent to have their data entered into the HMIS will never be used to refuse or limit services to that client

 HMIS User Responsibilities


As an HMIS user, you have committed to the following:

  • You will not share your user name and password and will take reasonable precautions to make sure your password stays secure.
  • You will not let others, including other HMIS users, work under your account.
  • You will not enter false or misleading information.
  • You will only view, obtain, discuss, or use data that is needed to perform your job.
  • You must log out of the HMIS when not using the system. Failure to log off the HMIS properly may result in a breach of client confidentiality. 
  • You will ensure that all printed copies of HMIS data will be kept in a locked filing cabinet or shredded when no longer needed.
  • If you suspect a security breach, you will immediately notify STEH HMIS staff, 513-263-2790.
  •  Your HMIS access will be deleted when you leave the employment of the agency where you received access.
  • Your account will be disabled if you do not log into the HMIS for more than 90 days.
  • You have/will review and comply with the HMIS Policy and Procedure Manual.

HMIS User Code of Ethics

 As a guardian of the data found within the HMIS, HMIS users have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the data is being collected, accessed, and used appropriately. HMIS data should only be used for the explicit reason it was collected which should be explained to each client and is consistent with the mission of the CoC's use of HMIS to advance the provision of quality services for people experiencing homelessness. 

As an HMIS user, you agree to the following code of ethics:

  • HMIS users must treat partner agencies with respect, fairness, and good faith.
  • HMIS users should maintain high standards of professional conduct in the capacity as an HMIS user.
  • HMIS users will make every effort to ensure that client data is handled securely, responsibly and in accord with the client's wishes.
  • HMIS users have the responsibility to relate to their clients and the clients of other partner agencies with full professional consideration.

Discriminatory comments based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, handicap, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity are not permitted in HMIS.

  • Users must not use the HMIS with intent to defraud at the federal, state, or local government or an individual entity; or to conduct any illegal activity, or solicit clients for personal gain.


All HMIS users sign an HMIS User Agreement the first time you log onto the HMIS and are bound to the ethics and responsibilities outlined in this article. As an HMIS user, you are also responsible to know and abide by all of the HMIS policies. You can also get a printable copy of the HMIS User Agreement and all of the most current HMIS policies on Strategies to End Homelessness website: https://www.strategiestoendhomelessness.org/what-we-do/data/hmis-transition/.

Additional User Agreement Information

  • User agreements expire annually 
    • You can electronically sign the agreement in Clarity if:
      • You're logging on for the first time as a new user
      • Your agreement has expired (HMIS Support will adjust your account to allow you to sign electronically just like logging on as a new user)


  •  Your Clarity account will be inactivated if your agreement expires
  •  If your account is inactivated, please contact HMISsupport@endhomelessness.org and we can reactivate it to allow you to sign a new electronic user agreement

Contact Information

If you need help, or wish to offer suggestions or feedback, please contact the Cincinnati/Hamilton County HMIS Support Team at HMISsupport@end-homelessness.org or by calling 513-263-2790 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays. 

When contacting HMIS Support, please do not include any Personal Identifiable Information such as social security numbers, birth dates, etc. Acceptable information is first name and last 4 digits of SSN, or Clarity Unique Identifier found on the Clarity client's profile page.