Coordinated entry is an important process through which people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness can access the crisis response system in a streamlined way…
When possible, the assessment provides the ability for households to gain access to the best options to address their needs, incorporating participants’ choice, rather than being evaluated for a single program within the system. The most intensive interventions are prioritized for those with the highest needs. – “Coordinated Entry CORE ELEMENTS“, HUD
What to Expect
Housing referrals will be given to the most vulnerable first.
This means that the amount of time that individuals wait for a referral varies from person to person.
Keep in Touch
It is important to answer phone calls and stay in touch with Access Points while waiting for a housing referral.
Checking in regularly is highly recommended during this process.
How Coordinated Entry Works
The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH), the HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Program interim rule, must establish and operate a Coordinated Entry (CE) system. CE is a tool designed to ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness are matched with the correct resources, interventions, and potential housing programs. CE standardizes the access and assessment process for all clients.
Once a client completes or updates an assessment with an appropriate access point, the client is placed within the Alaska Homeless Management Information System (AKHMIS) prioritization list. All client referrals to participating housing programs are conducted through the prioritization list. All CE participating providers must fill housing program openings using the CE referral process. To facilitate prompt referrals and to increase utilization rates, participating providers must notify ACEH of any known or anticipated vacancies/openings as soon as possible. ACEH then works to identify the next household to fill the housing program vacancy from the prioritization list. ACEH shall take all services being provided by the partner into consideration and will work to navigate the most vulnerable household that is eligible for the program into the open housing referral.
First, the housing provider informs the CE Programs Manager, or their designee, and the ACEH Transition Coordinator (TC) that they have an opening in their housing program and explains what type of household would be eligible to fill the vacancy (Single adult, Transitionally Aged Youth, or Family with minors). ACEH Transition Coordinators then use the CE Prioritization policy to provide the referral. The current CE prioritization policy is based on a client’s length of time homeless. The length of time homeless is determined by the first time the client has had a recorded contact in AKHMIS. If there is a tie between two or more eligible clients for the length of time homeless, the next factor in determining who is referred is if the individual or a member of the family has a disability, medical issue, or is an elder (55 years and up). Clients with medical issues threatening life and limb may be elevated to the ‘top of the prioritization list.’ Medical elevation occurs at case conferencing and is at the discretion of the CE program manager or their designee. Medical elevation first occurs at case conferencing and in special circumstances may occur through email correspondence between case manager and CE Manager. These factors help identify which clients will best fit the housing program vacancy, thus the most vulnerable participants can be served with the most appropriate intervention and not with a “first come, first served approach.”
Coordinated Entry Clarifications
Coordinated Entry prioritizes referrals based on need and vulnerability instead of functioning on a first-come-first-serve basis, while also accounting for the various eligibility criteria of participating housing programs. Coordinated Entry is not a “waitlist.”
This means that a household new to Coordinated Entry may receive a referral into housing more quickly than a household that has been in Coordinated Entry longer. This also means that if a household with higher vulnerability does not meet the eligibility criteria for the program with a current opening, a household with lower vulnerability will receive a referral into the program.
Definition of Chronically Homeless
The definition of “Chronically Homeless” provides a way to prioritize people with the longest histories of homelessness and most severe needs. It helps the CoC and partners ensure that individuals and families with the highest risks and needs are prioritized for permanent supportive housing.
There are two definitions of Chronic Homelessness: Disability and length of time.
Chronic Homelessness, as defined by a disability, occurs when an individual has a disabling condition that hinders that individual’s ability to live independently and/or would be improved by obtaining housing.
Chromic Homelessness, as defined by length of time occurs in two separate ways. First is when an individual has been homeless for at least 12 consecutive months. The second occurs if the individual has been homeless, on at least 4 separate occasions (separated by 3 “breaks in homelessness”*), in the last 3 years where the combined length of time homeless is at least 12 months. During this time the individual may have lived in a shelter or a place not meant for habitation.
*Breaks in homelessness occur when the individual is in some type of housing situation (couch-surfing, their own apartment, hotel/motel, etc.) for 7 nights or longer or if the individual is in an institutional setting (jail, hospital, treatment center, long-term care facility etc.) for 90 days or longer.
Do all Agencies Receive Referrals from Coordinated Entry?
Not all housing agencies in the community receive referrals directly through Coordinated Entry. Find providers that receive referrals from the Coordinated Entry Access Point list above.
Who Qualifies to be Served by Coordinated Entry?
Any individuals or families who are currently staying in a shelter, camping, or living in a place that does not meet regular standards of housing (ex. A car; a condemned house; a house without heat or electricity, etc.) are eligible to receive services through Coordinated Entry.
Further, those individuals or families who are living in a Transitional Housing program or who are staying in a hotel that is paid for by a charity or organization in town (including the Department of Corrections) are eligible for Coordinated Entry. Those who are actively fleeing a domestic violence situation and are unable to sustain housing are also eligible for services.
Those who are in an institution (hospital, jail, treatment, etc.) and were in one of the situations described above prior to entering the institution are eligible for Coordinated Entry if they have been living in the institution for less than 90 days.
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