What is Coordinated Entry?

As outlined in the CoC Program Interim Rule, each Continuum of Care is responsible for establishing and operating a centralized or coordinated assessment system that will provide a comprehensive assessment of the needs of individuals and families for housing and services. This system is called Coordinated Entry (CE) in the Texas Balance of State (TX BoS CoC).

CE is a powerful piece of a Housing Crisis Response System that ensures that people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness can readily find and navigate crisis intervention assistance. It is designed to ensure that households are prioritized for and matched with the right intervention as quickly as possible. It aims to standardize the access, assessment, and referral process across all providers in communities.

Graphic showing benefit of coordinated entry

Coordinated Entry in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care

In the TX BoS CoC, the CE process is managed by multiple parties from the regional to the CoC levels. These parties include the TX BoS CoC, Texas Homeless Network, the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee, and Coordinated Entry Planning Entities. The CE process operates similarly across all 17 designated CE regions in the TX BoS CoC and involves Entry Points, Assessors, and Receiving Agencies. The process flowchart below provides a very brief overview of the CE process in the TX BoS CoC. Click each bulleted title for more information:
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CoC Level

  • Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC): The TX BoS CoC is composed of all service providers, advocates, local government officials, and citizens who work to eliminate homelessness in the 215 counties covered by the CoC. The TX BoS CoC is governed by a Board elected by the general members of the CoC.
    • Texas Homeless Network (THN): THN is appointed by the CoC Board as the Lead Agency and HMIS Lead for the TX BoS CoC. THN serves as the policy oversight and evaluation entity for CE implementation in the TX BoS CoC. THN also provides technical assistance and supports the Coordinated Entry Planning Entities (CEPEs) with managing local CE processes.
  • Coordinated Entry Steering Committee (CESC): The CESC is composed of elected representatives from each CEPE within the TX BoS CoC. This committee provides direct support and guidance to the CoC Board on systems change efforts, and influences the direction of the CE process in the TX BoS CoC. For more information on the CESC, visit the ‘TX BoS CoC Committees’ page.

Regional Level

  • Coordinated Entry Planning Entities (CEPEs): A CEPE is the management body responsible for implementing the day-to-day process of CE in a region. This includes establishing the day-to-day management structures; establishing a clear and accessible communication plan; promoting standardized screening, assessment and referral processes; ensuring enrollment of staff into training; and conducting regular evaluations of their local CE process.
  • Entry Points: Entry Points are participating agencies that act as “front doors” to a region’s Coordinated Entry system since these agencies assess and refer people experiencing homelessness for and to housing projects and mainstream services.
    • Assessors: Assessors are staff members who work with households seeking assistance at an Entry Point. Staff members are considered Assessors when they have completed training with the TX BoS CoC– refer to the Training Assistance section above for more information on how to get started with training.
  • Receiving Agencies: Receiving Agencies are participating agencies that have housing intervention projects for households experiencing homelessness. Receiving Agencies must fill project vacancies with households referred through CE, after the eligibility of each household has been verified. Therefore, Receiving Agencies are strongly encouraged to use HMIS to better track incoming referrals from Entry Points. To learn about the additional benefits of HMIS, visit the ‘HMIS Basics’ page.
  • Non-Participating Agencies: Non-Participating Agencies are agencies that are not currently participating in a regional CE system, but in some way are involved in a region’s Homeless Crisis Response System. These agencies still play a crucial role for people experiencing homelessness (such as providing guidance applying for mainstream services), therefore a region’s CEPE should frequently encourage them to participate in CE.

Common Terms for Participating Agencies

  • Continuum of Care (CoC) Program: The CoC program is designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, states, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, persons fleeing domestic violence, and youth while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness; to promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness.
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program: The ESG program provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; to improve emergency shelters for individuals and families; to help operate emergency shelters; to provide essential services to shelter residents; to rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.
  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program: The SSVF program was established in 2011 to rapidly re-house homeless Veteran families and prevent homelessness for those at imminent risk due to a housing crisis. Through a competitive application, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accords grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other mainstream benefits that promote housing stability and community integration.
    • Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs): The VAMCs are operated by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as a component of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VHA also administers and operates Outpatient Clinics (OPC), Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC), and VA Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Home) Programs. In Texas, there are 5 VAMCs and 7 VA Health Care Systems.
  • Homeless Management Information System (HMIS): HMIS is an information technology system specifically designed to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. To learn about HMIS, visit the ‘HMIS Basics’ page.
  • Victim Service Provider: HUD defines a Victim Service Provider as a private non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence.

Please refer to Chapter 1 of the CE Manual for a full list of Coordinated Entry terms.

The Coordinated Entry Steering Committee is composed of one representative from each CE region, and each representative is nominated annually by their region’s CEPE. The following is a list of the current CESC Chairs:

    • Abilene: John Meier, West Central Texas Foundation
    • Beaumont & Orange: Debra S. Huffman, Neighborhood Development Corporation
    • Brazoria County: Gloria Luna, United Way of Brazoria County
    • Cameron County: Paul Castaneda, Endeavors
    • Colorado Valley: Deanna Lowrey-Green, Combined Community Action
    • Corpus Christi: Mona Vasquez, Endeavors
    • Denton: Elena Lusk, United Way of Denton County
    • Galveston: Melanie Thornton-Lewis, Salvation Army of Galveston County
    • Hidalgo: Napoleon Daniel Coca, Hidalgo County
    • Killeen: Christy Plemons, The Salvation Army of Temple
    • Laredo: Judith Mena, Bethany House of Laredo
    • Longview: Jay Morgan, Community Healthcore – East Texas Veterans Resource Center
    • Lubbock: Katherine Hennecke, Lubbock Open Door
    • Mount Pleasant: Vineta Byrd, SAFE-T Crisis Center
    • Odessa: Erika Chavez Thomas, Odessa Links
    • Texarkana: Vashil Fernandez, City of Texarkana
    • Victoria: Tiffany Ross, Community Action Committee

For more information on the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee, visit the ‘TX BoS CoC Committees’ page.

  • As an Assessor who also does Street Outreach, can I complete a paper CE assessment?
    • Yes, Assessors may use paper CE assessments for their Street Outreach efforts. However, you must request a copy of the paper assessment by sending an email to CE@thn.org indicating your name, your agency’s name and your CE region.
  • Can my region add an Entry Point or Receiving Agency?
  • Who are the members of my region’s CEPE and can I join?
  • Can my agency participate in the regional CE process?
    • If an agency is new to receiving funding from the CoC, ESG or SSVF Programs, the Systems  Change Team will contact the agency with next steps.
    • If your agency does not receive funding from the CoC, ESG or SSVF Programs but is still interested in participating in the local CE process, we recommend that you first contact your region’s CEPE to determine if you can be added as an Entry Point, Receiving Agency or both.
  • How can my community start a CE region in the TX BoS CoC?
    • Communities ready to implement and operate CE should contact the Systems Change Team at CE@thn.org to propose the formation of a new CE region in the TX BoS CoC. In some cases, interested communities may instead be connected to an established CE region.
  • Who can I contact if I have additional questions about CE?
    • The Systems Change Team at THN recommends that you first get in touch with your region’s CEPE or CESC Chair if you have any questions or concerns about the local CE process.
  • How do I provide THN with feedback regarding CE and Systems Change in my region?
Understanding the Basics of Coordinated Entry
Planning the Coordinated Entry Process
Serving Subpopulations in Coordinated Entry

TX BoS CoC CE Regions

Coverage Area: Jefferson, Chambers, Hardin, and Orange counties

Coverage Area: Brazoria County

Coverage Area: Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, Lee, and Austin counties

Coverage Area: Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, and Lampasas counties

Coverage Area: Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Rusk, and Upshur counties

  • Regional Governance Documents
    • CE Policies and Procedures
    • Eligibility Matrix for Assessors
    • Marketing Materials
    • Ghost Profile List

Coverage Area: Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Red River, Titus, and Wood counties

Coverage Area: Bowie, Camp, Cass, and Morris counties

Coverage Area: Victoria, Lavaca, Jackson, Goliad, DeWitt, Calhoun, Aransas, and Refugio counties

The TX BoS CoC covers 215 out of 254 counties in Texas. Counties and cities outside of an established CE region are known colloquially as the “18th Region”.

Entry Points in the TX BoS CoC

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