Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coordinated Access in Action in Tarrant County – Pulling It All Together

As stated, the roles of the DOPS Coordinator and HIC Specialist are distinct. However for the process to work, someone needs to manage not only these vital employees, but to pull the whole process together in a systematic manner, aligning supply with demand, persons with units. This person would also work with the HMIS team to make sure that all information in the DOPS Matrix and the DOPS HIC properly line up with the information in HMIS reporting. This person would work with shelters and programs serving the unsheltered to align them within the existing system of care, rather than operating beside it. This person would also manage the relationships with service providers and housing providers in coordination with TCHC leadership. Hence the TCHC team established the role of the Coordinated Access System (CAS) Manager to carry out these functions.

Though HUD has been urging communities to “get going” in establishing Coordinated Access Systems, some have made more progress than others. Many around the country have cited TCHC’s work on implementing a Coordinated Access System, as an example for other communities. When one examines the reduction in a few short months in real time homelessness of the chronically homeless in Tarrant County, one understands why. Within four months of adoption, the TCHC team was able to house a full third of the chronically homeless population!

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