Michigan State Homeless Management Information Systems (MSHMIS) Recommended Privacy Notice

The MSHMIS was developed to meet a data collection requirement made by the United States Congress to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Congress passed this requirement in order to get a more accurate count of individuals who are homeless and to identify the need for and use of different services by those individuals and families. We are working to assist the State of Michigan in meeting the goal set by Congress by collecting statistical information on those who use our services and report that information to a central data collection system.

Many agencies in this area also use the MSHMIS to keep computerized case records. Some, only with your permission, share information you provide to us with other MSHMIS participating agencies. The information that you may agree to allow us to collect and share includes: basic identifying demographic data (e.g., name address, birth date, phone number), the nature of your situation, and the services and referrals you receive from our agency.

Sharing information with MSHMIS and other agencies helps us to better understand the number of individuals who need services from more than one agency. This may help us to meet your needs and the needs of others in our community by allowing us to develop new and/or more efficient programs. Sharing information through MSHMIS can also help us make referrals more easily, often with less paperwork for us and for you.

Maintaining the privacy and safety of those using our services is very important to us. Information gathered about you is personal and private. We collect information only when appropriate to provide services, manage our organization, or as required by law. Your record will only be shared if you give your permission to do so. Depending on your individual situation, there may be benefits and/or risks for you to carefully consider before you decide whether or not to consent to the release of any identifying information to another agency. You also have the right to request that your name be entered in the system as “anonymous”. You cannot and will not be denied services that you would otherwise qualify for if you choose not to share information.

Please note that even if you do not want your information shared with other agencies or your actual name entered into the system, we must still report some information to the central data collection system, which contains provisions to protect your name and privacy, because of our federal and state requirements. The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness administers the MSHMIS database.