By-Name List: Tracking Homelessness

The By-Name List enables organisations from across the sector to collaboratively track and quantify homelessness, so local communities have access to a real time picture of how their service is working and can use that information to drive evidence-based improvements to help reduce rough sleeping and chronic homelessness.


The By-Name List is a key tool for collaboratively allocating housing and support resources.


Ruah provides the backbone support for the Zero Project – Housing First Coordination for WA.

Please Note – Data provided by the Zero Project is only for indicative information on rough sleeping and chronic homelessness and should not be treated as definitive ‘numbers’ due to the below reasons:

  • From month to month, the inflow/out data may not match up due to omitted data categories. ie people who have been reported as self-housed are not included in the outflow as Zero Project is unable to verify the permanency of those housing placements. Newly Identified as Homeless from the inflow may not be counted in the active homeless if corresponding homelessness data was not added as part of the record creation process.

  • Data will vary from day to day because the By Name List (BNL) is a ‘live’ database, and users are constantly updating.

  • Up to 70% of the people on the BNL do not have a lead organisation/worker. Data updates for people with lead organisation/worker can be intermittent. In some cases, the BNL does not receive data until months after an event.

  • It’s not research quality data, ie extracted snapshots are only an indication of what participating organisations have added to the BNL at the time.

  • It’s not a mandatory database for participating organisations. Contribution is solely based on the goodwill for a collaborative approach to ending homelessness.

  • People on the BNL only require a monthly update to generate the active homeless count.

  • The dashboard is not a snapshot of all homelessness – the data is focused on those who are experiencing rough sleeping and chronic homelessness.

  • At least 90% of rough sleepers are believed to be captured on BNL from the outreach work carried out by partnered funded homelessness agencies.

  • The data cannot be isolated to Local Government Authorities.

  • The data captured is not statewide, it is limited to where the Housing First support services are located and outreach is conducted.

  • The Perth, Fremantle & surrounds BNL may not align to the current Housing First (HF) funded service areas as it predated the HF initiatives. A prototype of the BNL commenced in 2016 as part of Ruah’s 50 Lives 50 Homes Project.

  • Young people are suspected to be underrepresented on the BNL data.