To address homelessness, communities should take a coordinated approach, moving from a collection of individual programs to a community-wide response that is strategic and data-driven. Communities that have adopted this approach use data about the needs of those experiencing homelessness to inform how they allocate resources, services, and programs.
The following are key elements of a coordinated systems approach:
Coordinated entry, also known as coordinated assessment or coordinated intake, is a process designed to quickly identify, assess, refer and connect people in crisis to housing and assistance, no matter where they show up to ask for help. It can pave the way for more efficient homeless assistance systems by:
Establishing a plan helps communities set goals and conceptualize what they should prioritize. A plan can include goals, a process and timeline for meeting those goals, and mechanisms for evaluating progress. Planning also brings providers, government officials, Continuum of Care leads, and funders together to address topics such as how to identify the needs of the population, decide on the structure of coordinated assessment, integrate prevention and shelter diversion resources, map out an existing assessment and intake processes and sketch out a preliminary needs assessment and screening tools.
A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a local information technology system used to collect client, program, and system-level data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness. Each Continuum of Care is responsible for operating an HMIS system according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Data Standards.
We can repurpose multi-floor buildings to offer housing for the homeless, displaced families, and more. We can offer a medical pod on each floor where nurses, social workers, and mental health workers would be stationed to offer care. One level would house the cafeteria and another would be the learning facility, another medical facility that would offer health, dental, recovery services, and group meetings. Another floor housing for families, another level housing for the single homeless people. All residents will be quickly assets place in the database so we can offer the best care and prompt action. This idea is similar to how they handle the homeless population in Seattle Washington.