The Atlas is a joint project of LHF and Homeless Link. Our colleagues there have published a blog setting out how the new version of the Atlas can help in London
The Atlas has proved invaluable for homelessness professionals over the last year, and the 2020 edition is now live with the latest data and new features.
The Atlas of London Homelessness Services, delivered by the London Housing Foundation (LHF) in partnership with Homeless Link, provides a unique overview of the volume and composition of homelessness services in London for people with experience of or at risk of sleeping rough.
As the sector emerges from the immediate public health crisis or the Coronavirus, plans are underway to move people placed in emergency accommodation during lockdown into more permanent and sustainable accommodation. The Atlas will be a key source of information during this transition period as organisations work together to end rough sleeping.
Services and statistics can be viewed across London, by borough or at a multi-borough level. The interactive maps and data visuals of services including day centres, accommodation services, outreach teams and Housing First provision, alongside CHAIN data and the Government’s annual rough sleeping statistics help people to understand real time service provision.
The 2020 edition of the Atlas has been enhanced based on feedback from the sector and new features include the ability to view gender or age-specific services and a map of specialist health services.
This tool is an important part of our work around improving the quality and accessibility of data available to the homelessness sector through technology. We are aiming to increase the evidence for evolving and enhancing service provision and streamline working processes.
When we think about the statistics that are available on homelessness and rough sleeping – in London or across the country – there is a reasonable amount of data about the scale of the issue, but less information about the state of the sector, and the range, scale and geography of support offered by services. The Atlas goes a long way towards addressing this need in London; Homeless Link’s annual review of homelessness provision adds to the national picture.
It cannot be overstated how important data can be for providing information and evidence for strategy and policy, commissioning and operations. In the fifteen months since its relaunch in 2019, the Atlas has proved useful for professionals at all levels working in homelessness or related sectors. It has been used to help people identify gaps in service provision, review current provision, and inform decision-making, commissioning, and bids for funding.
The Atlas has an important role to play in sharing information across different areas and services types – from day centres to health services – signposting to other services and encouraging partnership working to ensure that people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping receive the best support possible. Agencies have told us that they are already using the Atlas for this purpose: “When people approach us for a service we don’t provide, we’ll check this for another service and give them the information.”
In particular, agencies have used the Atlas to benchmark their relative size and range of services against other similar providers, and find out which other providers are active in areas they are working or considering working in.
With the 2020 updates, enhancements and additions now live, we are certain that the Atlas will continue to support homelessness services across the capital in their mission to end homelessness.
You can view and use the Atlas here.
As ever, we are keen to hear from you in order to improve the tool; please contact Gareth Thomas with questions or feedback at email@example.com.