HMIS Privacy Policy

PEOPLE’S RESOURCE CENTER-HOMELESS
PREVENTION PROGRAM HMIS PRIVACY NOTICE
Effective (5/01/2015)
Version 3.0
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE
USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS
INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
A. What This Notice Covers

  1. This notice describes the privacy policy and practices of People’s Resource Center’sHomeless Prevention Program. Our main office is at 201 S. Naperville Rd, Wheaton,
    IL 60187, our website is www.peoplesrc.org, 630-682-5402.
  2. A client is anyone whose personal data is included in the Northeast Illinois HMIS [in
    connection with the receipt of services or assistance]. This person need not be
    homeless.
  3. When a client request services from this agency, we enter information about them and
    members of their household into a computer system called a Homeless Management
    Information System (HMIS). This HMIS is used by many agencies in Suburban Cook
    and DuPage Counties that provide services to persons and families in need.
  4. The HMIS is administered by DuPage County Department of Community Services.
    Their office is at 421 N County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187. Their website is
    www.dupageco.org/HMIS. You can contact the system administrator at 630-407-
  5. DuPage County Department of Community Services has adopted this Privacy
    Notice as well.
  6. The policy and practices in this notice cover the processing of protected personal
    information of those agencies participating in the Northeast Illinois Homeless
    Management Information System (HMIS). All personal information that we
    maintain, not just the information entered into the HMIS, is covered by the policy and
    practices described in this notice. This policy covers only the programs within the
    agency that participate in HMIS.
  7. Protected Personal information (PPI) is any information we maintain about a client
    that:
    a. allows identification of an individual directly or indirectly
    b. can be manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify a specific
    individual, or
    c. can be linked with other available information to identify a specific client.
    When this notice refers to personal information, it means PPI.
  8. We adopted this policy because of standards for Homeless Management Information
    Systems issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We intend
    our policy and practices to be consistent with those standards. See 69 Federal
    Register 45888 (July 30, 2004).
  9. This notice tells our clients, our staff, and others how we process personal
    information. We follow the policy and practices described in this notice.
  10. We may amend this notice and change our policy or practices at any time.
    Amendments may affect personal information that we obtained before the effective
    date of the amendment. All amendments are approved by the HMIS Committee of
    the DuPage County Continuum of Care and are then adopted by all agencies that use
    the HMIS. Current information about the DuPage County HMIS Committee can be
    found on the HMIS website at www.dupageco.org/HMIS.
  11. We give a written copy of this privacy notice to any individual who asks. We
    maintain a copy of this policy on the HMIS website at www.dupageco.org/HMIS and
    on the People’s Resource Center website at www.peoplesrc.org.
    B. How and Why We Collect Personal Information
  12. We collect personal information only when appropriate to provide services or for
    another specific purpose of our agency or when required by law.
  13. We may collect personal information for these purposes:
    a. To provide or coordinate services to clients
    b. To locate other programs that may be able to assist clients
    c. To verify information given to us by clients
    d. For functions related to payment or reimbursement from other services that we
    provide
    e. To operate our agency, including administrative functions such as legal, audits,
    personnel, oversight, and management functions
    f. To comply with reporting obligations
    g. When required by law
  14. We may be required to collect some personal information by law or by organizations
    that give us money to operate this program. Other personal information that we collect
    is important to run our programs, to improve services, and to better understand the need
    individuals in the community. We only collect information that we consider to be
    appropriate.
  15. We only use lawful and fair means to collect personal information.
  16. We normally collect personal information with the knowledge or consent of our
    clients. If you seek our assistance and provide us with personal information, we
    assume that you consent to the collection of information as described in this notice.
  17. We may also get personal information from:
    a. Individuals who are with you or are part of your household
    b. Individuals who are assisting you
    c. Individuals or organizations you provide for verification of information or references
    d. Information already collected about you by other agencies that are part of the HMIS
    e. Other private organizations in the DuPage County Continuum of Care
    f. Government agencies including DuPage County and the State of Illinois.
    g. Public records including internet searches, telephone directories and other published
    sources
  18. When possible, we post a sign at our intake desk or other location explaining the
    reasons we ask for personal information. The sign gives our agency’s contact
    information, the HMIS administrator’s contact information and the location of this
    privacy notice.
    C. How We Use and Disclose Personal Information
  19. We use or disclose personal information for activities described in this part of the
    notice. We may or may not make any of these uses or disclosures with your
    information. We share client records with other agencies that may have separate
    privacy policies and that may allow different uses and disclosures of the information.
  20. All participating agencies of the Northeast Illinois HMIS share client record
    information. The information that is shared with these participating agencies is
    extensive. The list of these agencies and the information shared changes frequently.
    You can view a full list of these agencies and the information that we share at the
    HMIS website, www.dupageco.org/HMIS.
  21. You have the right to opt-out of having this information shared with other
    participating agencies. To do so, you must request and sign the “Client Data Sharing
    Refusal Form.” If you sign this form, your information will remain in the HMIS and
    be subject to the other disclosures in this privacy notice, but the information will not
    be available to the other participating agencies of the Northeast Illinois HMIS.
  22. The information that will be shared if you do not opt-out is as follows:
    a. Personal identification information
    b. Demographic information
    c. Program Enrollment Type and Dates
    d. The name of your case manager, if you are assigned one
    The detailed list of information that we share can be found at the HMIS website:
    www.dupageco.org/HMIS
  23. Some programs and agencies require sharing of information different than what is
    discussed in this privacy notice. For those programs, individuals will be presented
    with additional consent information.
  24. We assume that you consent to the use or disclosure of your personal information for
    the purposes described here and for other uses and disclosures that we determine to be
    compatible with these uses or disclosures:
    a. to provide or coordinate services to individuals
    b. for functions related to payment or reimbursement for services
    c. to carry out administrative functions such as legal, audits, personnel, oversight,
    and management functions
    d. to create de-identified (anonymous) information that can be used for research and
    statistical purposes without identifying clients
    e. when required by law to the extent that use or disclosure complies with and is
    limited to the requirements of the law, including Freedom of Information Act
    requests
    f. to avert a serious threat to health or safety if
    (1) we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a
    serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual or the
    public, and
    (2) the use or disclosure is made to a person reasonably able to prevent or lessen the
    threat, including the target of the threat
    g. to report about an individual we reasonably believe to be a victim of abuse,
    neglect or domestic violence to a governmental authority (including a social
    service or protective services agency) authorized by law to receive reports of
    abuse, neglect or domestic violence
    (1) under any of these circumstances:
    (a) where the disclosure is required by law and the disclosure complies with
    and is limited to the requirements of the law
    (b) if the individual agrees to the disclosure, or
    (c) to the extent that the disclosure is expressly authorized by statute or
    regulation, and
    (I) we believe the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm to the
    individual or other potential victims, or
    (II) if the individual is unable to agree because of incapacity, a law
    enforcement or other public official authorized to receive the report
    represents that the PPI for which disclosure is sought is not intended
    to be used against the individual and that an immediate enforcement
    activity that depends upon the disclosure would be materially and
    adversely affected by waiting until the individual is able to agree to
    the disclosure.
    (2) when we make a permitted disclosure about a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic
    violence, we will promptly inform the individual who is the victim that a disclosure
    has been or will be made, except if:
    (a) we, in the exercise of professional judgment, believe informing the
    individual would place the individual at risk of serious harm, or
    (b) we would be informing a personal representative (such as a family
    member or friend), and we reasonably believe the personal representative
    is responsible for the abuse, neglect or other injury, and that informing the
    personal representative would not be in the best interests of the individual
    as we determine in the exercise of professional judgment.
    h. for academic research purposes
    (1) conducted by an individual or institution that has a formal relationship with this
    agency if the research is conducted either:
    (a) by an individual employed by or affiliated with the organization for use in
    a research project conducted under a written research agreement approved in
    writing by a designated agency program administrator (other than the
    individual conducting the research), or
    (b) by an institution for use in a research project conducted under a
    written research agreement approved in writing by a designated agency
    program administrator.
    (2) any written research agreement:
    (a) must establish rules and limitations for the processing and security of PPI
    in the course of the research
    (b) must provide for the return or proper disposal of all PPI at the conclusion
    of the research
    (c) must restrict additional use or disclosure of PPI, except where required by
    law
    (d) must require that the recipient of data formally agree to comply with all
    terms and conditions of the agreement, and
    (e) is not a substitute for approval (if appropriate) of a research project by an
    Institutional Review Board, Privacy Board or other applicable human
    subjects protection institution.
    i. to a law enforcement official for a law enforcement purpose (if consistent with
    applicable law and standards of ethical conduct) under any of these
    circumstances:
    (1) in response to a lawful court order, court-ordered warrant, subpoena or summons
    issued by a judicial officer, or a grand jury subpoena
    (2) if the law enforcement official makes a written request for PPI that:
    (a) is signed by a supervisory official of the law enforcement agency seeking
    the PPI
    (b) states that the information is relevant and material to a legitimate law
    enforcement investigation
    (c) identifies the PPI sought
    (d) is specific and limited in scope to the extent reasonably practicable in light
    of the purpose for which the information is sought, and
    (e) states that de-identified information could not be used to accomplish the
    purpose of the disclosure.
    (3) if we believe in good faith that the PPI constitutes evidence of criminal conduct that
    occurred on our premises
    (4) in response to an oral request for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect,
    fugitive, material witness or missing person and the PPI disclosed consists only of
    name, address, date of birth, place of birth, Social Security Number, and
    distinguishing physical characteristics, or
    (5) the official is an authorized federal official seeking PPI for the provision of
    protective services to the President or other persons authorized by 18 U.S.C. 3056, or
    to foreign heads of state or other persons authorized by 22 U.S.C. 2709(a)(3), or for
    the conduct of investigations authorized by 18 U.S.C. 871 and 879 (threats against
    the President and others), and the information requested is specific and limited in
    scope to the extent reasonably practicable in light of the purpose for which the
    information is sought.
    j. to comply with reporting obligations for homeless management information
    systems and for oversight of compliance with homeless management information
    system requirements.
    k. to the administrators and contractors of the HMIS system, including DuPage
    County and Suburban Cook County Staff and contractors, Bowman Systems,
    L.L.C staff and contractors and the HMIS Committee Chairperson and viceChairperson.
  25. Before we disclose your personal information that is not described here, we seek your
    consent first.
    D. How to Inspect and Correct Personal Information
  26. You may inspect and have a copy of your personal information that we maintain. We
    will offer to explain any information that you may not understand.
  27. We will consider a request from you for correction of inaccurate or incomplete
    personal information that we maintain about you. If we agree that the information is
    inaccurate or incomplete, we may delete it or we may choose to mark it as inaccurate
    or incomplete and to supplement it with additional information.
  28. To inspect, get a copy of, or ask for correction of your information, ask a program
    staff member how to obtain this information.
  29. We may deny your request for inspection or copying of personal information if:
    a. the information was compiled in reasonable anticipation of litigation or
    comparable proceedings
    b. the information is about another individual (other than a health care provider or
    homeless provider)
    c. the information was obtained under a promise or confidentiality (other than a
    promise from a health care provider or homeless provider) and if the disclosure
    would reveal the source of the information, or
    d. disclosure of the information would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or
    physical safety of any individual.
  30. If we deny a request for access or correction, we will explain the reason for the
    denial. We will also include, as part of the personal information that we maintain,
    documentation of the request and the reason for the denial
  31. We may reject repeated or harassing requests for access or correction.
    E. Data Quality
  32. We collect only personal information that is relevant to the purposes for which we
    plan to use it. To the extent necessary for those purposes, we seek to maintain only
    personal information that is accurate, complete, and timely.
  33. We are developing and implementing a plan to dispose of personal information,
    found in the HMIS system, not in current use seven years after the information was
    created or last changed. As an alternative to disposal, we may choose to remove
    identifiers from the information.
  34. We may keep information for a longer period if required to do so by statute,
    regulation, contract, or other requirement.
    F. Complaints and Accountability
  35. We accept and consider questions or complaints about our privacy and security
    policies and practices. Because there are many agencies and parties involved, it is
    often hard to know where to direct a complaint. We ask that questions or complaints
    regarding the HMIS go to the HMIS System Administrator at DuPage County
    Community Services. Questions or complaints pertaining to the agency serving you
    should follow the agency’s grievance procedure. If you are unsure where to go, you
    may go to either agency listed below and we will help you determine the best person
    to speak with.
    HMIS System Administrator
    421 N County Farm Road
    Wheaton, IL 60187
    630-407-6397
    www.dupageco.org/HMIS
    People’s Resource Center
    201 S. Naperville Rd.
    Wheaton, IL 60187
    630-682-5402
    www.peoplesrc.org
  36. All members of our Homeless Prevention Program staff are required to comply with this
    privacy notice. Each staff member must receive and acknowledge receipt of a copy of this
    privacy notice.
    G. Change History:
  37. Version 1.0 October 2009- Initial Policy was a part of client consent documents
  38. Version 2.0 October 2012 – Adopted HUD’s baseline privacy notice and detailed our
    implied consent disclosure process
  39. Version 3.0 October 2014 – Updated HUD’s baseline privacy notice to include Suburban
    Cook County, address the name change of DuPage County HMIS to Northeast Illinois
    HMIS, and reflect the changes to the list of shared data elements.