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By Name Lists are real-time lists of all people experiencing homelessness in your city or area, and is the crown jewel of a Coordinated Access System.  While a Connections Week  survey provides a snapshot of who is homeless and some of their needs and preferences, a By Name List provides the same information on an ongoing basis. A robust By Name List allows your community to not only know who is currently homeless, but also to understand the inflow into your system (the number of people becoming homeless each month) and the outflow from your system (the number of people obtaining permanent housing or otherwise leaving your system each month).

‘What’s the purpose of a by-name list?’

  • Provide real-time data on rough sleepers/people living on your streets (and/or other homeless populations) and measure progress towards ending homelessness
  • Facilitate coordination amongst providers and avoid duplication of services
  • Target housing and services based on an individual’s needs

In creating a robust By Name List, homeless service providers working together at local or city level agree to:

  • Use a common initial assessment for all people experiencing homelessness
  • Use a common release of information/data that allows all providers to share needed information about people experiencing homelessness
  • Use a common database to maintain this data and to assist in the coordination of work
  • Keep the By Name List current by continually adding and removing people from the list whenever a person experiencing homelessness’ status changes (e.g. from living on the streets to permanently housed)
  • Work to ensure that people experiencing homelessness have access to outreach and drop-in services regardless of where they are within a city or town
  • Use By Name List ‘dashboards’ (a progress report format that provides an at-a-glance view of key indicators, numbers or data) to make data-informed decisions on priorities and the allocation of resources

By Name Lists provide individual level data on people experiencing homelessness that can be used by providers to better coordinate their work.  Through case conferencing, local agencies and organisations can come together to review new clients, assign a lead person (e.g. a case manager) to specific clients, refer individuals for housing or another homeless service programme, or conduct other activities to facilitate the effective flow of people through the system. To this effect, many communities use their By Name List to structure shared, multi-agency meeting agendas. For an example of a Case Conference Agenda, see 10.1 HOM Case Conference Agenda.

Individual-level data is maintained locally, in accordance with all privacy and data protection laws.  A specific client’s individually identifying information is only included on the list once she/he has signed an appropriate consent form, and it is only viewable by people and organisations covered by the consent form.

By Name Lists also provide aggregate level data, in the form of dashboards for the entire homeless population (and subpopulations – a part or subset of a population). These dashboards track inflow into homelessness, people actively experiencing homelessness, people moving into housing, and people who simply disappear from the system or go inactive. For a breakdown of these categories, please see 10.2 Monthly Data Categories. Then, to see an example of a By Name List dashboard that tracks them all, including the net monthly change in homelessness that results when these categories are considered together, see 10.3 Veteran List Detailed Data. To see how this data can also help a city track and improve its progress toward ending homelessness, see 10.4 Veteran Countdown Dashboard.

Community Solutions has developed a draft of a By Name List Scorecard for Europe (10.5 Draft Template – By Name List Scorecard for Europe) based on its extensive work in the U.S. and Canada. You can use this scorecard to determine the extent to which your city has a robust By Name List and also to help us to identify where further development of the European template may be needed.  This draft will need further refinement based on testing in European cities and communities, and we welcome and encourage you to share your feedback with us as you try it out.

 In-Depth Technical Information

10.6 Using the By Name List to Understand Inflow/Outflow and People Experiencing Homelessness – A more in-depth description of what is meant by inflow, actively homeless and outflow, as well as how knowing this information can help your city to end homelessness.

By Name List Video  – A brief video illustrating how inflow and outflow work together.  While the video was made to demonstrate ending homelessness among Veterans in the U.S., the concepts apply to ending street homelessness/rough sleeping in Europe.

Templates and Forms

10.5 Draft Template – By Name List Scorecard for Europe – This draft scorecard allows your city to assess the extent to which it has a robust By Name List and identifies the changes or improvements to your systems and/or practices to develop and sustain a robust By Name List.

10.7 Example of By Name List with Data Fields – Based on the work of the Built for Zero Initiative in the U.S., this Excel document provides a brief list of data fields that are recommended for inclusion in a By Name List.

Real-Life Examples

10.8 Example of By Name List, Chattanooga, TennesseeHere is a real life example of a By Name List related to homeless veterans from Chattanooga (personally identifying information has been removed).  While the specific data fields (including acronyms used) will vary based upon locality, this example shows what a By Name List might look like.

10.9 Inactive Policy Examples – A By Name List must also have a method for moving people who have not been seen by the system to an inactive list. This document provides examples from the United States on effective policies for inactive clients.

Thank you to Community Solutions for use/adaptation of source materials within this toolkit. Thank you to the campaign communities in Canada and the US for sharing their materials.


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