A Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a system for accessing housing and services by asking that communities prioritize people experiencing homelessness who are most in need of assistance. The CES process strategically allocates a community’s current resources and identifies the need for additional resources. It ensures that the highest need, most vulnerable households in the community are prioritized for services and that the housing and supportive services in the system are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.
A functioning CES offers:
- Streamlined access and referral;
- Fair and equal access;
- Standardized tools and practices;
- A Housing First approach; and
- Prioritization of those most in need of assistance.
Coordinated Entry works by establishing a common process to assess the situation of all households who request help through the housing crisis response system. Collaborating across service providers allows the homeless response system to prioritize people who are most likely to need assistance because of physical or behavioral health issues, vulnerability to death or victimization while homeless, or the circumstances of their homelessness.
Every homeless response system in the country is required to develop and operate a CES. All providers who receive funding through HUD’s CoC and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Programs are required to participate in CES. All CoC- and ESG-funded vacancies must be filled through the Coordinated Entry process.