Balance of State Coordinated Entry System

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Coordinated entry is an important process through which people experiencing homelessness can access the crisis response system in a streamlined way, have their strengths and needs quickly assessed, and get quickly connected to appropriate, tailored housing and mainstream services within a community or designated region. Standardized assessment tools and practices provide the ability for households to gain access to the best options to address their needs, incorporating participants’ choice. The most intensive interventions are prioritized for those with the highest needs.

HUD requires that Continua of Care establish and operate a coordinated entry system (CES). Designing a CES in your community that complies with the requirements established by HUD can seem like an overwhelming challenge. The Balance of State (BoS) Continuum of Care (CoC) understands these challenges and seeks to support communities in the transition to a housing crisis response system that ends current homelessness for all households and ensures that future homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring.

In order to be in compliance with HUD’s requirement, the Georgia Balance of State CoC has four Coordinated Entry implementation sites within the BoS CoC: Bartow, Bibb, Colquitt and Liberty counties. Lead agencies in each community will serve as coordinated entry system (CES) access points for those seeking assistance. Lead agencies will assess and match households to available and appropriate resources in their communities. Resources will be prioritized based on vulnerability (assessment score) and prioritization standards set by the CoC. Implementation sites will utilize HMIS to assess, prioritize, match and refer. CoC coordinated entry staff will monitor CES success through HMIS.

The BoS will have a toll-free hotline, 1-844-249-8367, that anyone in any part of the state can call to be connected to funded agencies in their area for emergency shelter or housing assistance. CoC staff will be tracking the referrals made by the hotline and ensure that agencies follow up with the individuals or families. Funded agencies outside of the four implementation sites are required to assess clients using the VI-SPDAT and prioritize their permenant housing resources on an agency level. Detailed instructions on that process can be found in the CES in the BoS CoC Webinar. BoS CoC CES staff are working on a second wave of implementation sites and will continue to work with current implementations to grow to cover a multi-county region.

To assist communities in this transition, the BoS CoC has created a wide variety of tools. Please explore these tools by clicking on the buttons below.

For more information, contact the Coordinated Entry System Coordinator, Rebecca Hickom, at Rebecca.hickom@dca.ga.gov.

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