What is a coordinated entry system?

What is a coordinated entry system?

Think of coordinated entry as match.com for persons experiencing homelessness and housing programs.

The concept of coordinated entry is to create a comprehensive system that quickly and effectively matches individuals and families to housing. The Northeast Florida Continuum of Care launched our local coordinated entry system in 2014.

The Northeast Florida coordinated entry system, managed by Mental Health Resource Center, covers Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties. This system connects people that need housing to housing opportunities with openings. Our community has a variety of housing programs that often come with specific criteria. What determines the criteria? It could be the funding source, the organization’s mission/focus, a client’s veteran status, etc. Bottom line – not all programs are the same, and that’s okay. People need various housing options and the ability to choose the best match for them.

Coordinated entry is the best way we have to match the people to the programs.

If coordinated entry is so great, why do I still see folks without a home?

In a word – capacity.

Like the rest of the country, Northeast Florida was in an affordable housing crisis for a decade before the pandemic. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we, the service providing agencies, have continued to assist people in moving off the streets and into housing.

Because there is not enough affordable housing, we triage. Triage means the most vulnerable person goes into the next available housing slot. It’s the same concept of two people walking into the Emergency Room. One person had a heart attack and the other broke their arm. Which one do you think the doctor should see first? You said, “The heart attack patient.” Yes, that’s exactly what we do too. We triage. Vulnerability is another way of saying that we prioritize those most likely to die without housing.

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness and in need of assistance, please contact 904.358.2411 to connect with someone who can guide you through the next steps. If you are in crisis (not homeless, but need help and are seeking financial assistance), contact 211 (the United Way) to discuss your immediate needs, or click here for a full list of resources and referrals.

Author: Dawn Gilman, CEO, Changing Homelessness, Inc.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *