CHAIN is the Combined Homeless and Information Network. It is a database for people who work with rough sleepers and the street population in London. The system is used to help workers share information to ensure that they act as quickly and effectively as possible to help those they encounter. Reports based on information held in CHAIN help decision-makers monitor the needs of rough sleepers in London.
Who do people record information about on CHAIN?
Workers record information on CHAIN about the following groups of people:
People who have been seen 'bedded down' on the streets by outreach workers. This group are known as 'Verified Rough Sleepers'. It is important to note that CHAIN does not cover 'hidden homeless' groups such as those who are squatting or staying in places which are inaccessible to outreach workers.
The street population - this term refers to people who have a 'street lifestyle' such as street drinking or begging. Many people who have a street lifestyle are also rough sleepers but a minority are not.
What information is recorded on CHAIN?
Basic identifying and demographic information
Contacts made with outreach workers - both when a person is 'bedded down' and when they are not 'bedded down'
Arrivals and departures from short term accommodation such as hostels and rolling shelters, including the reasons for departures
Basic indications of support needs people have, for example drug misuse or physical health problems
Where does the information come from?
Information is added to the system by people who work directly with rough sleepers and the street population in London. They are from
Outreach Teams and Building Based Services
No Second Night Out
Accommodation projects: night shelters, rolling shelters, hostels, second-stage accommodation projects
Who Can See CHAIN?
Only authorized workers in authorized projects receive user IDs and passwords for CHAIN. For more about data protection, click here
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