Friday, March 18, 2016

Coordinated Access Blog Post Series

As we mentioned in the two previous blog posts, MDHA is building a Coordinated Access System (CAS). In CAS, all persons are assessed, using a common, uniform, objective and evidence based assessment tool, so they may be prioritized for service and matched with the services that will best help end their homelessness as quickly as possible. Wherever possible, persons are diverted from the system, by identifying means through which they can self-resolve, and where necessary connect to services outside of the homeless response system. Persons for whom this does not suffice, are placed on a housing priority list, and then matched with the programs that best fit their level of vulnerability and need. Housing programs populate their housing units exclusively from that list.

MDHA is building a CAS based on the successful model implemented in Tarrant County, which brought about a significant drop in the chronically homeless population. In this model, one professional manages the documentation and prioritization status (DOPS) of persons experiencing homelessness, so they may go on the housing priority list, and be ready for housing as soon as a unit becomes available. Another professional manages the supply of housing, primarily on the Housing Inventory Chart (HIC) of all HUD funded programs, so conversely, when a person needs housing, a unit is available, as soon as possible. These two professionals are guided by a manager, who pulls the whole process together in a systematic manner, aligns CAS with HMIS reporting, and integrates shelters, service providers working with the unsheltered, and housing service providers into one system of care. Dallas applied for and will receive a HUD grant to fund its CAS.

Stay tuned for our next blog posts, which tell the full story of our CAS:
  • Coordinated Access – the Heart of an Effective Homeless Response System
  • Coordinated Access in Action in Tarrant County – Documentation and Prioritization
  • Coordinated Access in Action in Tarrant County – Housing Inventory
  • Coordinated Access in Action in Tarrant County – Pulling It All Together
  • Coordinated Access in Action in Dallas and Collin Counties

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