Bright Spot: Winston-Salem, NC | Accounting for Individuals Refusing Assessment

September 20, 2019

Document encounters with individuals unwilling or unable to complete a full assessment.

Implement this bright spot if…

● You encounter individuals who do not want to be assessed 

● There are individuals who need to be on the By-Name-List but have not been thoroughly accounted for 

● You want to try it!


Winston-Salem has developed a process to account for individuals who refuse or are unable to undergo an assessment. The team agreed that the outreach worker or team member with whom the individual experiencing homelessness is most comfortable would be that person’s primary point of contact (POC). The POC takes whatever information the individual is willing to give and talks about them at weekly meetings with other outreach workers to ensure that the coordinated assessment team is always up-to-date on who is working with whom. They keep track of the number and qualities of people who refuse assessment on a “Be on the Look Out” or BOLO list. Now, their actively homeless count is representative of even those few instances in which an individual is unwilling to offer up the necessary information to allow them to be added to HMIS.

Key Action: Constant communication and updating

The team updates the actively homeless count using the number of individuals each outreach worker is working with. This way, there is constant communication within the outreach team.

Key Action: Meeting on a regular basis

The group notes that a key element to their success is that outreach workers were already meeting on a regular basis and were familiar with one another’s processes. 

“Be on the Look Out” (AKA BOLO) List Sample

For more infromation:


Rose Fisher ( ), Director of CIC and RRH

Andrea Kurtz (, Senior Director at Housing Strategies

Laura Lama (, HMIS Local System Admin

Kristle Coble (, Director of Housing Services