The Coordinated Entry System
What is Coordinated Entry (CE)?
Coordinated Entry (CE) is a system designed to connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness with housing options, supportive services, and mainstream benefits. The Three County CoC operates a "no wrong door" CE system, which aims to provide immediate and equitable access to assistance and appropriate supports. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates that all CoC-funded housing projects participate in a CE system. Assistance offered through CE is prioritized based on vulnerability and severity of need. Individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness receive priority for CoC resources. In addition to CoC projects, the CE system includes other housing, supportive service, and mainstream benefit service providers.
How do individuals and families access the Coordinated Entry system?
Many service providers throughout Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire County are connected to and can make referrals to the CE system. Once it has been determine that the CE system is an appropriate referral for an individual or family experiencing homelessness, a Three County CoC CE Vulnerability Assessment should be conducted. The Vulnerability Assessment is a tool designed to assess vulnerability, severity of need, and housing barriers to prioritize individuals and families for limited resources. Certain service providers are trained to conduct CE Vulnerability Assessments; other services providers can make referrals to those agencies. For a list of CE Assessors and partner agencies and how to connect, please visit this page.
What are the eligibility criteria for CE?
The CE system is intended for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. While there is no eligibility screening criteria at the front door of CE, it is recommended that service providers assess whether or not a referral to CE is appropriate. Because the CoC Program is HUD-funded, individuals and families who access CoC resources must meet one of the HUD definitions of homelessness. For more information about HUD's definitions of homelessness and how to document, please visit this link. For more information on the definition of chronic homelessness, visit this link.
Three County CoC written standards require that all CoC-funded Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) projects prioritize chronic homelessness and all Transitional Housing (TH) projects prioritize chronic homelessness and fleeing domestic or intimate partner violence.
What happens after an individual or family is referred to the CE system?
After an individual or family has completed a Vulnerability Assessment and signed a Release of Information, their information and Assessment will be entered into the Three County CoC's Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The Three County CoC maintains strict privacy and confidentiality standards. The Release of Information offers options for how information is entered into HMIS and shared with other CE partners. CE participants may request to have their information coded in the HMIS system and/or coded for participation in Case Conferencing.
Information from Vulnerability Assessments is used to create a By Names List. This list consists of all individuals and families who have completed an assessment and prioritizes based on assessment result. This list is used to make referrals for CoC-funded housing opportunities and to determine individuals and families that require prioritization for other services based on severity of need. CE Partners come together on a weekly basis for CE Case Conferencing meetings, during which providers discuss available housing and supportive resources, make referrals based on the By Names List, and case conference strategies and actionable steps to end homelessness on an individual and systemic level.