The Homeless Alliance vigorously encourages the use of the Horizon Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a federally-supported, networked computer database that enables service providers to access data on homeless clients and the services available to them. Widespread use of Horizon will not only facilitate case management but, in the process, also generate system-wide data on the number and characteristics of homelessness in Oklahoma City.
Many HMIS data collection software packages do not take into account the specific needs for each continuum they are used in. This is why H.Net Horizon was developed for the Oklahoma City and Norman continua.
Previous attempts at creating an active, useful database of HMIS information simply did not turn out as envisioned. The users needed something that didn’t add a large burden to their already substantial workload. Additionally, training required long sessions of sometimes confusing information.
H.Net Horizon was released in March of 2007. It has prompted great response from the community ever since. Not only does H.Net Horizon simplify HMIS data entry, it opens the door for more customized reporting than was ever possible in previous efforts.
The program itself is accessed via a downloaded Adobe Flash™ object. This means no more waiting for individual web pages. Everything needed is downloaded to any web browser capable of running Adobe Flash Player 9™. If an upgrade is released, a simple refresh of the website ensures you have the latest changes.
Designing the application in this way allowed us to be free with ideas that help the user become productive almost immediately. This is achieved through the use of brighter colors, larger text, and a visual representation of different areas.
From its conception, H.Net Horizon was built to conform to the HUD HMIS Data and Technical Standards. Much research went in to filling in grey areas that were very confusing when using a real world example. Every effort was taken to make certain the data collected will be full and meaningful. No blanket “other” answers or fields that allow blank or wrong data to be entered. This means accurate information on APR reports, custom reports, and other data generated by H.Net.
You can visit the OKC HMIS Website by clicking here.