To determine the start of each client's period of participation with a project. All projects need this data element for reporting time spent participating in the project. Paired with the Housing Move-In Date, it becomes possible to determine the length of time from project start to housing placement for all PH clients, including those in RRH projects.

Data Entry Instructions

Record the month, day, and year of each client's project start. The Project Start Date indicates a client initial assistance by the project.

For each client's enrollment in a project, there must only be one Project Start Date. Any errors in entering the date should be corrected as soon as they are noticed in the program enrollment. 

Note: If the client's data has changed since the enrollment (income, non-cash benefits, health insurance etc.) do not edit the enrollment, rather complete a 'Status Update Assessment' available on the program's 'ASSESSMENTS' tab.

Each individual client in a household will have their own Project Start Date. If a new client is added to a household after the original household members' start dates, the new client's start date should reflect the actual day that client started the project. If this client is a newborn baby, the Project Start Date would reflect the date the project started providing housing or services to the newborn, consistent with the responses for project types identified below, which may be any date on or after the baby's date of birth.

Different project types use Project Start Date differently, to address the difference in meaning associated with “starting” residential, service, and permanent housing projects. See the descriptions below for more information.

Street Outreach

Date of the first contact with the client.

Emergency Shelter

The night the client first stayed in the shelter. Night-by-night shelters allow clients to re-enter as necessary without “exiting” and “restarting” for each stay for a specified period.

Safe Haven and Transitional Housing

Date the client moves into the residential project (i.e. first night in residence).

Permanent Housing (including PSH and RRH)

Date the client was admitted into the project. To be admitted indicates the following factors have been met: 1) Information provided by the client or from the referral indicates they meet the criteria for admission; 2) The client has indicated they want to be housed in this project; 3) The client is able to access services and housing through the project. The expectation is the project has a housing opening (on-site, site-based, or scattered-site subsidy) or expects to have one in a reasonably short amount of time.

Services Only, Day Shelter, Shelter Diversion/Eviction Prevention, & Coordinated Entry

Date the client first began working with the project and generally received the first provision of service.

More Resources

For more detailed and the most up-to-date information regarding HUD required HMIS Program Data Elements, please find the Data Standards Manual here: HMIS Data Standards - HUD Exchange.

Contact Us

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 9:00am - 3:00pm Monday-Friday (excluding holidays).

When contacting HMIS Support, please do not include any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, etc. Please only use the Clarity Unique Identifier found on the Clarity client profile page.