Love Your Data HMIS Newsletter - November 2021

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Love Your Data

nov. 17, 2021

Quarterly Dashboards


The Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) Performance Tracker and Data Quality dashboards are updated for the first quarter of State Fiscal Year 2022 (July 1 – Sept. 30, 2021). If you haven’t checked the data already, take a look on our Tableau Public Page. 


Staffing changes

Josh Fike headshot

We're pleased to introduce our newest HMIS team member, Josh Fike. Josh is currently training to be the new HMIS Help Desk specialist. Here is a little bit about him:

Hi, I’m Josh Fike. I was born in Seattle and live in Federal Way. My past work experiences include providing system support and working as a data/reporting analyst. I recently graduated with a Master's in Public Administration from Evergreen State College in Olympia.

For fun, I am an activist in my community and volunteer with youth. I’m also a sci-fi/fantasy nerd and love game nights.

New HMIS HUD data standards are now in effect

In case you missed it, new HMIS HUD data standards went into effect on Oct. 1. Find the fiscal year 2022 HMIS Data Standards Manual here. Keep in mind that it may be revised slightly in the coming months.

IMPORTANT: Please review and update any paper documents you use to collect data for HMIS entry.

For more information, register and watch our Data Standards webinar:



Contact our HMIS Trainer Maylee Stevenson

Reminder: New training registration process

In August, we launched a new self-paced portal for HMIS user training to streamline the account request and training registration process.

HMIS registration form

New HMIS users or current users needing more training access for Washington Balance of State (BoS) now use this form for requests. Agency supervisors and managers receive an email with a link to approve the requests.

Need help?

Watch this helpful, short tutorial video.

For more information and instructions about the form, download this document (.pdf).

If you still have questions about the HMIS Learning System or training, please contact our HMIS Trainer Maylee Stevenson

The Performance Team is hiring

The Performance Team in our Housing Assistance Unit (HAU) is hiring a Racial Equity Performance Specialist, Commerce Specialist 4, who will be developing new racial equity performance requirements for homeless systems and programs. They will work on identifying the best ways to measure, track, monitor and communicate a homeless system’s progress in addressing racial inequities. This position will also provide assistance to homeless systems and programs to help them deliver culturally informed and effective services.

Learn more

Reports Corner

Data Quality Report makes good work better

Reports Corner

Every quarter we will examine a report or two to help you take ownership of your data.

No dataset is perfect, but accurate data helps improve the good work already being done to help people experiencing homelessness across Washington. Good data is important, and the Data Quality Report is the way to get there.

Learn more about the Data Quality Report, why it is important, and some important items to check and resolve in your data.

Excel at Excel Basics

Want to be a spreadsheet wizard? We will explore the power of spreadsheets, from the basics to the advanced.

Beginner Tip: The power of data filters – find information in your data quickly and increase efficiency. Read more about filtering.

Advanced Tip: Want to have more spreadsheet fun? Try out these useful formatting tips.

Dear HMIS Help Desk:

What about non-consenting clients?

Running into technical issues and not sure who to call? Don’t worry, the  HMIS team has your back.

One of our readers writes:

Dear HMIS team,

I’m new around here. I’m doing my best to learn how to enter HMIS data correctly and I’m getting a little better at it every day.

Here’s a question, what about non-consenting clients? Can data for non-consenting clients be entered into HMIS?

I want to protect our clients’ privacy, but good data helps us serve our clients better.

Truly Yours,

Learning in Lincoln


Dear Learning in Lincoln,

Welcome! Thank you for your question. It is an important one.

Yes, non-consenting clients should be entered into HMIS, but they need to be entered as consent refused (anonymous) clients. Remember that Washington State has a HMIS Consent Law (RCW 43.185C.180), so clients must opt-in (or consent) to have their personal identifiable information (PII) shared. However, non-PII should still be entered into HMIS.

You can read step-by-step instructions on entering the consent refused client profile in this document. Below are the "dos and don’ts" that will help you handle non-consenting clients like a pro.


  • Enter a client into HMIS as consent refused if the following conditions are true:
    • They are a non-consenting client.
    • They don’t consent to sharing a minimum of their first and last name and full date of birth (DOB).
    • They are fleeing or in danger of domestic violence.
    • They are an unaccompanied child under 13 years of age.
    • They are part of a group household with another person that is consent refused. In this case all members of a household would be consent refused.
  • When creating a new client profile in HMIS, toggle on the Consent Refused slider to auto-populate correct information for many PII fields.
  • Update the client profile as you collect more information. If the client changes their mind and gives consent later or has duplicate profiles, contact us at the HMIS Help Desk and we’ll help you get it sorted out.

Here are things you should NOT do:

  • Don't include any personal identifiable information (PII) for consent refused clients. This information could be used to identify a client without their consent.
  • Don’t include their exact birth year. For year, add or subtract one to two years from their birth year (minus one year for 17-year-olds), and enter those four digits. Try to keep the client in their appropriate age group.
  • Don’t add PII to the "Alternative ID/Alias" field. Leave it blank or it’s also OK to enter the non-PII code that some agencies use for identifying and searching for the client.

Keep in mind that some details may change depending on the program the client is enrolled in, such as for veterans or domestic violence shelters.

Let us know if any more questions come up, we are here to help!

Best wishes,

HMIS team

How are we doing?

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future content, please contact

That is all from us for now. Have a great quarter and don’t forget to love your data!