By Name List details
A By Name List (BNL) allows your community to 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).
Its purpose is to:
- provide real-time data on people living on the streets (and/or other homeless populations) and measure progress towards ending homelessness;
- allow co-ordination amongst providers to avoid duplication of services; and
- target housing and services based on each individual’s needs.
In creating a BNL, homelessness 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 that allows all providers to share necessary information about people experiencing homelessness;
- use a common database to maintain this data and to assist in the co-ordination of support;
- keep the BNL current by updating it whenever a person’s status changes (e.g. from living on the streets to permanently housed);
- ensure access to outreach and drop-in services, regardless of where they are within a city or town; and
- use BNL ‘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 homeless people that can be used by providers to better co-ordinate and structure their multi-agency work. Through case conferencing – local agencies and organisations work 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, or conduct other activities to facilitate the effective flow of people through the system.
Individual-level data is maintained locally, in accordance with all privacy and data protection laws. A specific client’s identifying information is only included on the list once she/he has signed an appropriate consent form and it can only be accessed 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. 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 click here.
For an example of a By Name List dashboard click here. See how this data can also help a city track and improve its progress towards ending homelessness.
Information, Templates and Examples
- 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 using this information to help your city end homelessness.
- By Name List video – A short video illustrating how inflow and outflow work together. While the video is about ending homelessness among veterans in the U.S., the concepts apply to this campaign.
- Inactive Policy Examples.
- Croydon BNL information leaflet for local street homeless population