What Is Coordinated Entry?
Coordinated Entry is a federally mandated program that is designed to restructure the use of services offered to those experiencing homelessness or those having a housing crisis within a community. Its aim is threefold: to prioritize the most vulnerable for the limited services that exist; streamline the experience for both those requesting assistance and service providers; provide data, allowing for informed decisions regarding the structure of current services as well as the need for new services.
What Coordinated Entry Is Not
The Coordinated Entry System is not a guarantee of services, nor is it a guarantee of services within a specific time. Coordinated Entry on its own does not provide any new housing services, rather it reorganizes the use of already existing services within the community. As such, in Anchorage the need continues to be greater than services available. This means that not everyone who is engaged in the Coordinated Entry process will receive a referral into further supports. De-identified information gathered through the Coordinated Entry is used, however, to advocate for more supports and services in the community; this means that all information gathered through the process is valuable to the greater community goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time.
Coordinated Entry is not a “waitlist.” Coordinated Entry does not function on a first-come-first serve basis. Coordinated Entry prioritizes referrals based on need and vulnerability, while also accounting for the various eligibility criteria of participating housing programs. This means that a household new to Coordinated Entry may receive a referral into housing more quickly than a household who 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 the referral into the program.
How Does Coordinated Entry Work?
In Anchorage, Coordinated Entry currently acts the referral point to various housing programs. Those in need of services contact an Access Point to complete an assessment. The household will receive the same assessment regardless of with which Access Point they engage. This assessment provides information on the household’s vulnerability and length of time experiencing homelessness. After completing the assessment, the household is placed in pool of households eligible to receive a referral into various housing programs. Once a housing program has an opening, the Coordinated Entry System will provide the agency with a referral from the pool of those assessed, based off the program’s eligibility criteria and the household’s vulnerability. Coordinated Entry will always provide a referral to the most vulnerable household who also appears to meet the eligibility of the specific program.
Once referred, the housing program must work with the household to document eligibility prior to providing housing. Though Coordinated Entry strives to always provide referrals to those who will qualify for the program, there are times when a household is referred to a program for which they do not qualify. As such, a referral from Coordinated Entry into any housing program is never a guarantee of housing until the household is officially accepted into the program.
This process assists both clients and housing providers in a variety of ways. Firstly, this process means that households do not need to go to multiple housing providers and get on multiple waitlists (or be told multiple times that they do not qualify for services). Instead, a household can go to one spot, complete one assessment to be eligible for multiple programs; the programs then reach out to the household to let them know when a referral is available. Similarly, when a housing provider has limited availability, there is no longer a need to review numerous applications. Instead, the provider needs only to spend time and resources on one application per vacancy.
Which Agencies Receive Referrals from Coordinated Entry?
Not all housing agencies in the community receive referrals directly through Coordinated Entry. Further, some agencies have certain programs receiving referrals through Coordinated Entry but continue to run additional programs that have separate waitlists. The programs listed below receive referrals directly through Coordinated Entry. To be housed by one of the programs listed below, one must be assessed and referred through the Coordinated Entry process. All other programs in Anchorage must be contacted directly for their eligibility criteria, application information, and waitlist procedures.
AWAIC – Moving Forward Program
Alaska Housing Initiatives – Coming Home Project
Catholic Social Services – Special Needs Housing Grant
Catholic Social Services – Path to Independence
Catholic Social Services – ESG Rapid Re-Housing
Catholic Social Services – Singles Rapid Re-Housing
Collaborative Project – Family Community Housing Project
Covenant House Alaska – Rights of Passage
NeighborWorks Alaska – RISE Program
NeighborWorks Alaska – Sponsor Based Rental Assistance (SRA)
RurAL CAP – 325
RurAL CAP – Karluk Manor
Shiloh Community Housing – LIFE Program
Who Qualifies to be Served by Coordinated Entry?
At present, the Anchorage Coordinated Entry System is built out to serve individuals and families in specific points in their housing crisis. 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 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 for 90 days.
Those who are threatened with eviction or who are staying with family and friends are not currently eligible for those services provided through Coordinated Entry and encouraged to reach out to 2-1-1 for up to date information on which services are currently available to meet their needs. Families or individuals in these situations are welcome to contact an Access Point for assistance in connecting with 2-1-1 or other community resources, however, they will be ineligible to receive an assessment or to be prioritized for the housing services currently available through Coordinated Entry.
How Can I Receive Services Through Coordinated Entry?
To receive services through Coordinated Entry, one must connect with an established Access Point. Please see the Access Point chart below for information. To note, some Access Points are only able to serve certain household compositions (Ex. Families with minor dependents, including pregnant females). It is helpful when someone seeking services presents at the appropriate Access Point. If someone, however, presents at an Access Point that is not designed to serve their household’s composition, the Access Point will assist the household in connecting with appropriate location.
Below please find documents and forms related to Coordinated Entry in Anchorage:
- Anchorage Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures
- Statewide ROI Aug 2018
- Coordinated Entry Case Conference ROI Jan 2018
- Anchorage Data Sharing Partner Agencies
- Coordinated Entry Housing Services Assessment (coming soon)
For more information, please contact the Coordinated Entry System Manager.