Honest evaluation is vital to the success of any organization, program, or campaign. In some cases, this means a community analysis or service review in order to understand what is already happening in a city, town, or other kind community; in others, it may mean looking at the outcomes or effects of a program or policy. The former is crucial when it comes to planning and setting targets or goals, as it can establish the basis for the periodic collection of homelessness data on a consistent basis in order to generate reliable trend statistics.

Such trend data - which highlights negative and positive developments - is fundamental to evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives to resolve homelessness, enabling pressure to be brought to bear on stakeholders to improve where necessary.