Coordinated Entry provides a single entry point for people experiencing homelessness to access vital community resources. The Coordinated Entry team develops, implements, and oversees a system that ensures community providers collaboratively and efficiently connect households to the services and support programs to help end their homelessness.
Our team assists local homeless service providers by providing trainings as well as outreach and assessment services. Read more about our work and the services we provide below.
Our Coordinated Entry system has 5 core components
Our community uses a vulnerability index tool to prioritize individuals and families most in need of housing services. The assessment is administered by trained direct service staff across various community service providers. Once assessed, households are referred to the programs they qualify for.
Click here to learn more about the Austin Prioritization Index (API), the equity-centered prioritization tool our community created to use during Coordinated Assessments.
Outreach and Navigation
Outreach and navigation teams from multiple service providers work to locate individuals and families identified through the Coordinated Assessment process to connect them to available resources and services. Outreach and navigation workers assist with things like acquiring documentation and making/attending appointments, and they help ensure that the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness can access the services they need.
System Training and Development
ECHO provides direct assistance to support our partners in utilizing best practices to end homelessness. We train service providers to be Coordinated Entry assessors as well as offering Outreach and Navigation training to teach staff how to effectively engage individuals experiencing homelessness.
Health Care and Housing
Coordinated Entry supports the integration of healthcare services into the broader homeless services system. This includes an interdisciplinary approach that connects individuals experiencing homelessness to mainstream benefits, like SSI/SSDI, along with medical, behavioral health, and housing services. In collaboration with Seton Health, CommUnityCare, and Integral Care, ECHO helped establish the Care Connections Clinic which focuses on providing care to the most vulnerable individuals in our community.
ECHO’s Housing for Health team has compiled a resource guide that is a one stop shop guide for Case Managers and individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin/Travis County to utilize to get connected to Emergency Shelter resources, Healthcare resources, Mental Wellness and Substance Use resources, and additional community resources (i.e. Housing, Case Management, Benefits, and Legal Assistance). View the guide here (PDF).
Referral Coordination and Accountability
In addition to matching households to available community programs, our Coordinated Entry system establishes procedures to ensure individuals can access the services they qualify for. ECHO works with local providers to monitor an individual’s progress through the homeless system, and ongoing accountability processes make sure programs are meeting the needs of their clients.
Coordinated Entry Training Opportunities
Request Outreach and Navigation Training
Outreach and Navigation systems bridge the gap between homeless and housing, and allow programs to house highly vulnerable clients without delay. ECHO’s Outreach and Navigation Training provides a skill set which allows effective triage and assessment of a individual’s situation, and teaches the user to provide proactive next steps. Understanding the community’s outreach systems and demonstrating effective navigation are the first steps towards HMIS proficiency and additional HMIS trainings.
Apply to become a trained Coordinated Entry assessor
If you are interested in becoming a community assessor, ECHO requires a progression of skills, comfort, and data entry in HMIS before completing the Coordinated Assessment training. This is to ensure better data collection and for new assessor to feel comfortable with the skills they will be required to complete once trained.
The attached Training Requirements & Expectations (PDF) and Assessor Interest Form (PDF) forms should be reviewed and completed by those interested in being trained. We encourage agencies to think about workflow and the best ways to utilize an assessor on staff before submitting the Assessor Interest Form.
Step 1: Complete HMIS New User Training
Step 2: Complete Outreach and Navigation Training
Step 3: Must use HMIS and show competency for a minimum of one month to ensure data quality
Step 4: Review Training Requirements & Expectations (PDF)
Step 5: Complete Assessor Interest Form (PDF) and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 6: Coordinated Entry team will review your interest form and reach out with next steps to set up training