In 2024, Nanaimo is actively developing a Coordinated Access System with the goal to simplify access to housing supports for individuals experiencing homelessness in the community. Developed through the City of Nanaimo’s Health and Housing Action Plan, The Nanaimo Systems Planning Organization provides support for the Coordinated Access System. The Nanaimo Systems Planning Organization manages the city’s By Name List in conjunction with numerous service providers and various levels of government in order to prioritize individuals for housing resources and connect them to needed supports. The goal of the coordinated access system is to end chronic homelessness in our community and is part of a larger national initiative to address homelessness.

Defining Homelessness in Our Community

Homelessness can be understood to refer to a broad range of experiences. These include: couch surfing (staying temporarily in someone else’s home), sleeping rough (staying on the street or another location unfit for human habitation), or in an emergency shelter (temporary overnight shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness). As a community, Nanaimo endorses a definition of homelessness that recognize that the experience of homelessness is not static and can take many forms. Homelessness can be both visible and hidden within our community.

Homeless-serving agencies in Nanaimo provide important supports for individuals experiencing homelessness no matter where they are on the homelessness spectrum. From emergency shelter, to prevention measures and supportive housing programs, Nanaimo service providers are working tirelessly with the most vulnerable of our city’s population.

Why Use a By Name List

The By Name List is a real time list of all individuals known to be currently experiencing homelessness in the Nanaimo area. Through the By Name List community agencies can work together to prioritize and refer individuals experiencing homelessness for housing and other supports.

Who Should be Added to the By Name List

The By Name List is an important tool for advocating for individuals experiencing homelessness; however, it is not appropriate for everyone. If an individual is currently housed, be it in transitional housing, staying with someone else, or staying in a motel/hotel, there may be more appropriate supports. If they are currently at risk of losing their housing, please contact Nanaimo Rent Bank.