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Homelessness Atlas

Mapping the services that are working to end homelessness in London to aid commissioners in their decision making.

This project for the London Housing Foundation, in collaboration with Homeless Link, is an openly available online set of visualisations that give various perspectives on homelessness services in London. Analysis often focuses on the problematic issue, rather than on the great work being done to tackle it. This site gives a new angle and aids commissioners and professionals in assessing the appropriateness of provision and whether new services may be needed. This is particularly relevant in the context of the recent RSI funding drive.


The tool builds on a previously successful static report, also called the Atlas.


Illustrating Impact helped design the views and were the lead developer on the project. Multiple stakeholders were consulted in this process and the website has been well used since the launch, receiving much positive feedback and press in outlets such as the Big Issue.


Technically, the tool is a set of Tableau Public visualisations embedded in a WordPress web frame - using the Tableau JavaScript API to manage the integration. The Tableau visualisations are directly linked to a Salesforce cloud database to ensure any data updates can be pushed to the live tool without developer involvement.


We were supported by the information team at Homeless Link who gathered the data behind the tool as well as web developers TinCan who built the web frame for the visualisations. Becky Rice was the project lead, managing all of these different processes and much of the stakeholder engagement.


Illustrating Impact have been recommissioned to develop a second version to be launched in 2020. As well as refreshing the data we plan to develop two completely new views. One of these will be focused on health services for single homeless people and the other will analyse funding provided by the London Mayor’s office, the GLA. Existing views will be upgraded to include functionality such as allowing users to highlight services offering specialist support to groups such as women and LGBTIQ+ single homeless people.

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