By-name lists helping connect those experiencing homelessness with critical services
The Ontario government is investing nearly $770,000 to help the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) work with communities to connect people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with the local services and supports they need.
The CAEH will use the funding to provide ongoing support to Ontario’s 47 service managers – who deliver support services and homelessness prevention programs in local communities – so they can maintain and improve local by-name lists. These are real-time lists of people experiencing homelessness that identify their needs. The by-name lists help service managers understand the extent of homelessness in their communities and improve access to resources as soon as they are available. This includes housing assistance, such as supportive housing or rent supplements, and services like Ontario Works or health care.
“The by-name list is a life-changing innovation that ensures those experiencing homelessness have access to the supports and services they need,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness into 2024 to help service managers access the necessary tools, identify bottlenecks in the system, and in turn, better help their communities.”
Since 2021, Ontario has provided funding to CAEH, which offers support through coaching, tools and webinars so that service managers can spend more time working with their clients than on paperwork. This funding would extend CAEH’s support for another year.
“Our ongoing collaboration with the Province of Ontario is helping service managers across the province build coordinated and efficient local homeless systems,” said Tim Richter, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “This important work has helped London and St. Thomas-Elgin end homelessness for veterans and helped five other service managers achieve measurable and verifiable reductions in chronic homelessness – despite a wave of new homelessness happening across the country.”
“We are committed to addressing the needs of our province’s most vulnerable by investing in long-term solutions that connect people directly to services in their communities,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Housing. “That’s why we’ve invested over 40 per cent more in our homelessness prevention programs – so more people can access the help they need to get back on their feet.”
As announced in the 2023 Budget, the province added an additional $202 million each year to the Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program. This builds on the government’s investment of nearly $4.4 billion over the past three years to grow and enhance community and supportive housing, address homelessness and respond to COVID19.
In March 2021, each service manager was asked to put in place a local by-name list. As of January 2022, by-name lists are in use across the province.
On April 1, 2022, Ontario launched the Homelessness Prevention Program, which works to prevent, address and reduce chronic homelessness. The new program requires service managers to meet updated provincial by-name list requirements.
Clients are only added to by-name lists with their consent. These lists reduce the need for the client to repeat their story or situation and helps the community remain accountable to ending homelessness.