Bright Spot: Bakersfield, CA | Inflow Tracking with Excel

February 28, 2020

Designate field in by-name list to track when a newly identified individual is added (i.e. date of assessment)

Check out this Bright Spot If..

  • You don’t have your BNL in HMIS, but need to track inflow
  • You want to try it!


Veteran service providers would meet once a week and provide updates that would be entered into the by-name list. The by-name list was hosted in a spreadsheet and was managed by one person who was the only one with the ability to make edits and updates.

At every meeting, they had a piece of paper where they would indicate the numbers of new veterans identified and if they were new to the community or had returned from being “inactive”. This process was also used to capture housing placements.

Key Action: Utilizing Resources Wisely

The community was able to achieve a quality by-name list for veterans and report all five data points monthly by using only the following resources:

  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Willingness from partners to meet once a week
  • Staff person to update and manage the by-name list

Key Action: Bringing the Leadership Along

A staff member spent time explaining the concept and importance of a by-name list to partners in the community. It was helpful to make the connection to Coordinated Entry as participation in the system is now a requirement for HUD funding.  

It was helpful to show community partners the list on a big screen so they could see how people flow on and off of the list.  

Fail Forward Moments:

Once the community began to track inflow one of the things that they saw is that every month, time after time, the inflow of veterans into the community was greater than their housing placements. Through the data they could see that the majority of veterans who were entering the system each month returned from inactive. This prompted the community to explore the ways they could be more successful with the initial engagement or intervention with veterans entering the system.

For More Infromation

Contact Heather Kimmel ( at the Kern Housing Authority