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Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (KnoxHMIS)

Making a Difference: Knoxville Homeless Management Information System

The Mission

The Knoxville Homeless Management Information System, or KnoxHMIS, serves as an empirical window into homelessness in the Knox County Community.

KnoxHMIS is a multifaceted enterprise whose operations address four goals:

  1. Operate the information system for community providers,
  2. Increase community collaboration to end homelessness,
  3. Research trends among those experiencing homelessness, and
  4. Provide a spectrum of reporting to community partners, local government, and HUD.

KnoxHMIS is a secure, web-based database of demographic and service delivery information for individuals experiencing homelessness. Through KnoxHMIS, UT works with 19 partner agencies and over 60 service programs. Reports with aggregate client-level data are produced from KnoxHMIS and used to inform local and federal decision-making. This program started in 2004 and involves one faculty, one full-time staff, and two half-time staff.

KnoxHMIS and City of Knoxville Launch New Dashboard on Homelessness

KnoxHMIS dashboard
In partnership with the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (KnoxHMIS) has developed an interactive community dashboard on homelessness.

The new “Dashboard Report” is an at-a-glance informational resource on the issue of homelessness and the performance of local homeless service providers.

The Partners

Community partners include the Knoxville Homeless Coalition, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, City of Knoxville, Knox County, Comcast, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, Community Law Office, CONNECT Ministries, Family Promise of Knoxville, Helen Ross McNabb Center, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Knoxville Leadership Foundation, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, Parkridge Harbor/Positively Living, Salvation Army, Steps House, Tennessee Career Center, Tennessee Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, The Next Door, Volunteer Ministry Center, Volunteers of America, and YWCA. University of Tennessee, Knoxville partners include the College of SocialWork and Social Work Office of Research and Public Service.

Impact on UT

KnoxHMIS is the only university-based homeless management information system in the country. Generation of de-identified client-level data has significant potential for academic study: the priority, however, is on coordinating client care through utilizing system features such as intake assessments, case-record, case-note, service delivery, and digital referral entry. KnoxHMIS is a steward of the UTK Lang-grant mission through its efforts to represent those experiencing homelessness through such studies as: The KnoxHMIS Annual Report, Homelessness in Knoxville-Knox County Biennial Study, and Comparative Costs and Benefits of Permanent Supportive Housing in Knoxville, Tennessee. Studies conducted by KnoxHMIS have been published in the Journal of Poverty, the Journal of Social Work Education, Social Work Research, the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Administration in Social Work, and Psychological Reports. Additionally, KnoxHMIS was awarded the 2012 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement National Outreach Scholarship Exemplary Program Award.

Impact on Community

In 2014, there were 9,232 active clients in Knox County, a three percent decrease from 2013. KnoxHMIS data has shown that the majority of their clients, about 74 percent, come from the local area and do not arrive from elsewhere. KnoxHMIS’s vast data set has led to better services delivery and outcomes reporting. Aggregated, de-identifiable data reported from KnoxHMIS to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in annual reports such as the Point-In-Time, Housing Inventory Count, and Annual Housing Assessment Report to Congress help secure nearly 2 million dollars in funding for homeless services in Knoxville-Knox County.

Related Stories: 

KnoxHMIS and City of Knoxville Launch Dashboard on Homelessness >>

Engaging in Work to Reduce Homelessness>>



The KnoxHMIS Homepage

KnoxHMIS in TnToday


KnoxHMIS Data Analyst: 865-946-9142 or e-mail


Click here to read about more Partnerships that Make a Difference.