Coordinated Entry for Balance of State
HUD has set January of 2018 as a deadline for all Continuums of Care (COC) to have a Coordinated Entry (CE) System operational. What does this mean exactly?
Let's first define Coordinated Entry. The Coordinated Entry System is a process to identify housing for those who are experiencing homelessness, with the goal of quickly (rapidly) securing housing for those who are most vulnerable, and have been homeless the longest.
There are four core elements to a coordinated entry process:
- Prioritization (and)
Access & Assessment
Access is the means by which people in a housing crisis present themselves to a coordinated entry location. While Assessment is the gathering of information including the household’s needs, preferences, and vulnerabilities using the same approach across all entry points.
Prioritization helps our Arizona COC with inventory management of housing resources, ensuring those with the greatest need receive services from the appropriate agency or agencies that might resolve household’s crisis.
Referrals should be made to the agency most capable of addressing the crisis and based on the findings from the Assessment and Prioritization. While the agency that completed the assessment may be able to resolve the crisis, a referral to the most capable agencies is in the best interest of the household and the System.
It is a challenge to develop and implement one, coordinated entry system in the 13 county, Arizona Balance of State; Continuum of Care (AZ BOSCOC). The AZ BOSCOC has had a framework in place that utilizes the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) as a triage mechanism. Entering data into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and developing, by-name lists from this data prioritizing households by score is helpful however, it is imperative that the local communities develop a system. One that applies the basic framework-structure and includes all necessary details, conveying how the CE System is intended to work, specifically in their community. That is where the rubber meets the road as we say.
The COC Coordinator, David Bridge, has been making the rounds, attending local Coalition to End Homelessness meetings this summer, working with them on their strategic plans and offering technical assistance. ADOH, Special Needs is working to ensure that when January rolls around, households experiencing homelessness have access to a Coordinated Entry System, which is flexible and designed to result in the resolution of their current housing crisis.