Coordinated Assessment, also known as coordinated/single-point-of entry or coordinated intake, is a term that refers to the centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program intake, assessment, and provision of referrals. Coordinated assessment covers a set geographic area and is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking a range of housing options and services including, but not limited to: homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing.
From the National Alliance to End Homelessness -
Coordinated assessment paves the way for more efficient homeless assistance systems by:
Helping people move through the system faster (by reducing the amount of time people spend moving from program to program before finding the right match);
Reducing new entries into homelessness (by consistently offering prevention and diversion resources upfront, reducing the number of people entering the system unnecessarily); and
Improving data collection and quality and providing accurate information on what kind of assistance consumers need.
Coordinated assessment is ideally a system-wide process and can serve any and all populations. Systems may accomplish coordinated assessment through the use of a centralized phone hotline (e.g. a 2-1-1), a single physical point of assessment (through an emergency shelter or a dedicated assessment center, for example) or a decentralized coordinated system (with multiple assessment points all employing the same assessment and referral process).
CoCs are required by HUD to implement coordinated assessment systems. This HUD Coordinated Entry Policy Brief from February 2015 outlines what they see as the qualities of effective coordinated entry: HUD Coordinated Entry Policy Brief.
Bergen County is an example of functional coordinated assessment in New Jersey. The Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center serves as a one-stop location and single point of entry for individuals to receive services ranging from temporary shelter and care management to housing placement and support services. For more information, click here.
For another example of coordinated assessment in New Jersey, see this article from our Summer 2014 newsletter profiling Atlantic City's new Single Point of Entry program as well as this Press Release from Governor Christie: click here.
Most recently, in Trenton, their new Coordinated Entry and Assessment Services Center, which opened in April 2015, is bringing together a dozen agencies under one roof to provide services and ultimately end chronic homelessness by finding permanent housing solutions for all of its clients. Click here to read more about this program.