HMIS data have been a critical component of HUD’s understanding of the benefits of using a rapid re-housing intervention model for homelessness.1 Communities have been using HMIS to track many factors, including length of stay and recidivism, to determine the effectiveness of the rapid re-housing interventions. For instance, the city of Cincinnati and the state of Michigan used HMIS to assess the relative effectiveness of HPRP’s rapid re-housing intervention during the second of the program’s three years of operation. Cincinnati found that only 12 percent of all homeless people assisted with rapid re-housing had fallen back into homelessness; Michigan found that of all rapid re-housing recipients in the state, only 6 percent had fallen back into homelessness. These jurisdictions will be able to continue to track recidivism of their clients over time. Without HMIS, Michigan, Cincinnati, and communities nationwide would not have known the effectiveness of this intervention. Based in part on these findings, HUD is explicitly encouraging communities nationwide to use available funds in existing programs, such as the Emergency Solutions Grants Program, for rapid re-housing.
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Rapid re-housing is an intervention model where households maintain a lease of their own and providers assist the household with rental payments and services until the household is able to maintain the housing on their own.