Coordinated Entry Systems

The Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a Continuum of Care (CoC)-wide process for facilitating access to housing services and resources for individuals and families at-risk of or experiencing Homelessness, identifying, and assessing needs in fine consistency, and referring clients to the most appropriate service strategy or housing intervention. Thus, the CES ensures that the BoS CoC’s limited resources are allocated to achieve the most effective results. The system ensures that people at-risk of or experiencing Homelessness obtain equitable and timely access to housing resources, provided in a person-centered approach that preserves choice and dignity.

The Coordinated Entry Process can be divided into four distinct phases: Assessment, Scoring, Prioritization, and Eligibility. These phases direct how households are placed on the waitlist and removed from the waitlist. Within these phases are several distinct elements: Pre-Screen, Assessment, and Scoring occur before placing people on the waitlist. Prioritization, Referral, and Follow-Up occur while people are on the waitlist. Determining Eligibility, Diverting, and Program Enrollment occurs to remove people from the waitlist.

WITHOUT Coordinated Entry

Without coordinated entry, clients are left to navigate the system without much structure.

WITH Coordinated Entry

With coordinated entry, client are given structure and navigation on how to traverse the system for housing.

On a given night, around 350 people experience homelessness in the rural regions of Mississippi.

from the 2022 Point-In-Time Count


CES Defined

As defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Coordinated Entry is “a process developed to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access and are quickly identified, assessed for, referred, and connected to housing and assistance based on their strengths and needs.” Starting in 2013, HUD began requiring recipients of federal Continuum of Care (CoC) or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding to practice Coordinated Entry, as its efficacy had been proven in a number of different communities with significant homeless populations

MUTEH Inc., as both the CoC lead and the HMIS lead agency in the MS Balance of State, ensures that Coordinated Entry is practiced by managing the Coordinated Entry System, an organized network of homeless service providers, system funders, and other partners from across the State who coordinate their resources and services according to a set of common principles and shared procedures. These principles work to standardize approaches on:

  • How people access services and how their needs are assessed.
  • How people are prioritized for limited resources

CES is held together through the use of a database accessible by providers in CES called the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS holds the information of CES participants and is integral to how homeless individuals are prioritized, referred to, and tracked as they move on their journey toward housing.

The MS Balance of State CoC Coordinated Entry System is governed by the following guiding principles. The CES must:

  1. Cover the entire geographic area claimed by the CoC.
  2. Be easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services.
  3. Be well-advertised.
  4. Include a comprehensive and standardized assessment.
  5. Provide an initial, comprehensive assessment of individuals and families for housing and services.
  6. Include a specific policy to guide the operation of the CES to address the needs of individuals and families who are fleeing – or attempting to flee – domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, but who are seeking shelter or services from non-victim specific providers

In addition, our Coordinated Entry System must:

  • Prioritize vulnerable populations

Homelessness has significant detrimental effects on everyone, yet some, those with health and safety concerns, are placed at even greater risk for harm without a safe and stable place to call home. These groups, include but are not limited to, children, women fleeing from domestic violence situations, Veterans, and people with disabilities. The Continuum of Care and local service agencies will prioritize strategies to identify and assist the most vulnerable groups.

  • Promote justice for all vulnerable populations

To eliminate the disproportionate rates of Homelessness among many communities of vulnerable populations, we will adopt strategies to achieve equity in both access and outcomes in all areas of Housing and services. These strategies will include culturally specific services, a racially equitable lens across all program investments, and dedicated funds to eliminate disparities. We are committed to serving all people in need of assistance regardless of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, handicap, national origin, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

  • Use data-driven assessment and accountability                                                                                               

To utilize our resources best, we must understand the outcomes of our investments, evaluate progress, and demonstrate accountability. We will continue to improve and expand our community-wide data system so funders and providers can efficiently collect data, share knowledge for better client outcomes, and report outcomes against the goals of the CoC.

  • Engage and involve the community

Policymakers and community stakeholders must understand the magnitude of the challenge, the costs if we don’t meet the challenge, our strategies for ending homelessness, and the importance of obtaining and allocating resources. This policy equates to an action plan for ending Homelessness in Mississippi and will ensure that the specific concerns and interests of our local, regional, and national stakeholders are heard.

  • Strengthen system capacity and increase leveraging opportunities

The longstanding solutions to prevent and end Homelessness transcend multiple systems of care, foster care, domestic violence, community justice, health, mental health and addictions, and available resources. To permanently end homelessness, we must strengthen efficiencies of the system and align other resources towards ending Homelessness.

  • Adults (age 18+)
  • Families (household with a child under age 18)
  • Youth (age 18-24)

CES has programs that are tailored for people experiencing homelessness from each of these household types. Not all programs in CES will be available for each age group. For example, some programs may be accessible to Adults only.

In addition to these, there are programs that provide services for specifics groups, such as those who are fleeing domestic violence and those who identify as U.S. Armed Forces Veterans. If you fall under one of these specialized groups, consider visiting the Get Help page to get in contact with a program.

  1. Access: We do our best to help you access services in an area near you.
  2. Assessment: The second step is to provide some basic information about yourself and your situation. This way, we can connect you with resources and help you on your path to housing.
  3. Prioritization/Referral/Matching: Staff can help you problem solve, refer you to resources, and help you with next steps. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible and/or prioritized for various resources.

CES REsources