Charity Homeless Link's CRM is taking people off the streets

Homeless link is helping UK charities get people off the streets with its CRM application.


Homeless link is helping UK charities get people off the streets with its CRM application.

Homeless Link, a not-for-profit that works with charities and local authorities including Cambridge and Brighton, hopes that by digitising many of the UK's homeless charities' data, it will be able to spot patterns on where care is working, or failing.

Homeless Link generates revenue through its In-Form CRM application, which it has sold to 65 different charities. That revenue is used to further its campaign work to achieve its goal of eradicating homelessness in England by 2020.

In-Form is built on the Salesforce platform, using cheap licenses provided by the vendor's not-for-profit arm, Salesforce Foundation.

The application allows charity staff and volunteers to store casework on every person they help, from when they first find them on the streets, through their journey to rehoming, which could include GP appointments or referrals, or notes on temporary accommodation. It has collected stories of 150,000 homeless people.

In-Form can send reminders and allows workers in different areas to pull up a persons’ file and update it, so it is easier to track and assist with their rehabilitation.

It also plays a role in getting UK charities much needed funding, Matt Harrison, Homeless Link’s director of business and social enterprise told ComputerworldUK.

He said: “It helps the staff to deliver a better service but it also gives the organisation ability to report on the impact of their work.

“They can use the dashboard and the reporting tool to focus on what they are achieving and to demonstrate that to their funders, which include local authorities, trusts and commissioners. With the pressures on public funding, our members are seeing a decrease in funds available from local authorities.

“We see hospitals closing some local authorities making really drastic cuts to homeless funding because it is not a statutory obligation to provide them. So our members are competing with each other for funding.”

Homeless Link can then use this information, after cleaning and anonymising, to analyse for UK-wide trends to research the most effective services for the changing needs of homeless people.

It plans to create an In-Form data lab with the grant it recently received from the Salesforce Foundation