Coordinated Entry System

In This Report

Home For Good developed a coordinated outreach and matching system that fundamentally changed the way we assess, prioritize, and match clients to housing resources across Los Angeles.

The Problem

Public housing authorities and independent housing providers in Los Angeles were filling housing vacancies based on widely variable eligibility assessments and a first-come-first-serve method, which meant that the most vulnerable Angelenos were often left on long housing wait-lists with no guarantee of a future match. There was no real-time, prioritized tracking of who was experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles, and our system had no way to quickly and effectively engage, access, prioritize, and match people to the housing resources and services that best fit their needs.

The Approach

Convening Diverse, Multi-Sector Coalition of Experts and Decision-Makers

Home For Good convened key policymakers, public, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners within Los Angeles’ Continuum of Care to start developing a countywide Coordinated Entry System (CES). The goal was to create a unified system that would quickly and effectively conduct outreach and engagement and access, prioritize, and match people experiencing homelessness to housing and services using a single assessment tool.

Testing and Iterating in Diverse Settings: Design to Scale

We piloted the Coordinated Entry System in phases using the Rapid Results Initiative 100-day Challenge model, which brings together local systems leaders to work on challenges as cross-organizational teams for 100 days. First we worked with people experiencing chronic homelessness in Skid Row, and then we expanded to regional pilots across the county’s service planning areas (SPA). Through iteration and multiple tests of the system on diverse communities with differing needs and access to services, we were able to ensure that we were designing a solution that could be scaled large enough to meet the need in Los Angeles.

Optimizing Private and Public Resources 

To ensure that the system had the resources and collaboration needed to succeed, we worked with public and private funders to ensure that clients were supported from outreach to lease up to move in. We worked with public housing authorities to commit to filling housing units through CES and got our public system partners to require grantees to partner with their local CES lead agency as a condition of funding.

The Home For Good Funders Collaborative provided flexible private funding to support clients as they moved into their new homes and released an RFP for roughly $3.5 million to fund CES infrastructure and regional coordinators to promote countywide implementation and expansion of a Coordinated Entry System.

Ensuring Long-Term Viability and Future Success

To ensure that this pilot program became a sustainable piece of the homeless services system, Home For Good developed planning and policy tables that brought together city and county leadership, public agencies, and private funders to oversee its implementation and create a regular space to discuss system improvements. We eventually institutionalized the project by passing daily administration and oversight of CES to LAHSA.

The Outcome

The Coordinated Entry System pilot proved that the homeless services system could prioritize, access, and match clients to housing resources more effectively and increase access for highly vulnerable people who were previously harder to reach and connect to resources. CES fundamentally changed how we address homelessness in L.A. County, from the introduction of a universal assessment tool to the funding of regional coordinators to promote countywide coordination. Our CES serves as a nationwide model, promoted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. 

Home For Good continues to work closely with LAHSA, system leaders, and service providers to support ongoing implementation, oversight, and system improvement efforts, and the Home For Good Funders Collaborative continues to support CES through continued flexible funding for regional lead agencies and capacity-building grants to support the continued strengthening of our system.