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Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS)

Developed by the Government of Canada, HIFIS is a Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS) that is designed to support the day-to-day operational activities of Canadian homelessness service providers. As a comprehensive data collection and case management system, HIFIS enables participating service providers within the same community to access, collect, and share local real-time homelessness data to ensure individuals and families accessing services are prioritized and referred to appropriate services at the correct time.

HIFIS is continuously updated with enhancements and new features to meet community needs. See the HIFIS release notes for information on the latest version of HIFIS.

National Homelessness Data

To strengthen the national understanding of homelessness in Canada, Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada collects, analyzes, and reports on data collected through HIFIS, as well as from participating communities that operate with other HMISs.

Personal data collected through HIFIS is encrypted and anonymized before it is exported to Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada in order to protect the privacy of clients. Data collected through HIFIS supports the creation of key reports on the national state of homelessness.

Organizations that host HIFIS must enter into an End-User License Agreement and a Data Provision Agreement with Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada. The End-User License Agreement outlines how the software is to be used and the Data Provision Agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities, as well as what data is being exported to Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada. It also outlines the Government of Canada's responsibilities and obligations related to the use and protection of data. HIFIS users must adhere to the privacy standards respecting personal information in their respective province/territory.

By using HIFIS, users across the country become part of a growing network that contribute to advancing the knowledge and understanding of homelessness in Canada.


HIFIS supports communities by allowing multiple service providers to access real-time homelessness data and refer clients to the services at the correct time. HIFIS allows service providers to collaborate through a community-wide system that can be accessed from web-enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. HIFIS:

  • supports client intake, program assignment and case management;
  • assists with housing inventory and matching;
  • offers pre-built and evidence-based reports;
  • includes communication tools to support collaboration;
  • provides privacy and confidentiality controls to protect data; and
  • supports reporting, analysis, research and decision-making.

HIFIS benefits clients, service providers, and the homelessness sector by:

  • enabling clients’ assessment, prioritization and referral to services without requiring clients to repeat their stories multiple times;
  • empowering service providers with reporting tools to increase understanding of local homelessness trends and needs; and
  • contributing to a comprehensive portrait of homelessness in Canada, informing evidenced-based policy and decision-making.

HIFIS offers modules that support collaborative service delivery and day-to-day operational activities, such as the Case Management, Coordinated Access, and Housing modules. HIFIS also offers numerous features to protect client information.

Flexibility and customization: HIFIS allow diverse service providers to align the system with their local needs. Customizable features include the ability to:

  • Customize the appearance of HIFIS;
  • Develop custom tables, look-up tables, surveys; and
  • Create rights templates and assign user rights.

Client intake: HIFIS enables users to collect information on an individual such as their name, gender, and age, among other pieces of information.

Case Management: In the Case Management module, HIFIS users can record information related to activities undertaken with clients to meet pre-determined goals.

Coordinated Access: As a centralized HMIS, HIFIS allows different service providers to participate in collaborative service delivery and Coordinated Access. HIFIS has a Coordinated Access module, which generates a Unique Identifier List of clients who have provided Coordinated Access consent, are active in the system, and are currently experiencing homelessness.

Service tracking: HIFIS allows users to track the delivery of services, including but not limited to shelter admissions, food bank transactions, and rent subsidies, among others.

Data sharing and privacy: HIFIS has numerous privacy and security features at the following levels:

  • IT Infrastructure Level
  • Administration Level
  • Service Provider Level
  • User Level
  • Client Level

Learn the system

For more information about HIFIS, or to try HIFIS yourself:

  • Access the HIFIS Toolkit, composed of four guides covering the following topics:
    • Implementation Guide: Provides guidance on the implementation, deployment, and maintenance of HIFIS.
    • Installation Guide: Describes the technical requirements, architecture, and installation process of HIFIS.
    • Configuration Guide: Explains the configuration features in HIFIS.
    • User Guide: Provides descriptions of HIFIS features and functions, and instructions on how to use them.
  • Visit the HIFIS Demo Site to familiarize yourself with the system and to try various features and modules.

Contact us

If you have any questions about HIFIS or are seeking training resources, please contact the HIFIS Client Support Centre by email at

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