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About CES

The Los Angeles County Coordinated Entry System (LA County CES) facilitates the coordination and management of resources that comprise the crisis response system in the county. CES allows users to efficiently and effectively connect people to interventions that aim to rapidly resolve their housing crisis. CES works to connect the highest need, most vulnerable persons in the community to available housing and supportive services equitably.

In 2010, Los Angeles began laying the groundwork for a Coordinated Entry System (CES) to coordinate providers efforts, create a real-time list of individuals experiencing homelessness in our communities, and a means to quickly and efficiently match people to available housing resources and services that best fit their needs. In early 2011, this early system was put into practice in a series of pilots in Skid Row, ground zero for homelessness in L.A. and home to over 5,000 of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless people. After developing the system through a series of pilots it was introduced to seven communities throughout LA County, and in the 2014 expanded to reach all eight Service Planning Areas (SPA) in LA County. There are now systems that serve Adults, Families with Children, and Youth.

Dead ends, closed doors Seamless connections
Endless intakes, applications, and wait lists One survey that connects to real-time housing opportunities
First come, first served Best fit, housing match
Each organization doing it all Each organization doing what they do best

Teams in each region meet regularly, working together to ensure full geographic coverage by coordinating and expanding outreach, effective assistance to help participants navigate the housing system, and efficient and accurate matches to housing and non-housing resources (such as medical supports) based on the individual needs and acuity level.

CES integrates Housing First, Harm Reduction, and Trauma Informed Care approaches into its housing and supportive services.

  • Housing First focuses on moving people experiencing homelessness into housing and providing additional support and services each person needs and wants to stabilize.
  • Harm Reduction focuses on reducing and minimizing risky behaviors and consequences associated with drug and alcohol use.
  • Trauma Informed Care focuses on understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.

In line with our Guiding Principles, these approaches support CES in serving the highest-need, most vulnerable individuals and families in LA County. Once participants are housed through CES, these approaches promote the availability of supportive services in order to ensure stable tenancy.

Guiding Principles and Practices for the LA CES

We, the service and housing providers and systems partners working together to address homelessness in Los Angeles County, affirm the following principles in the Coordinated Entry System (CES) – respect, accountability, consistency, and integration. The following set of practices arise out of these principles. [1]

Promote Person-Centered Processes

We will use client choice and strengths-based approaches to inform options for services, housing, and referrals in order to respect the whole person without reducing him/her/them to their housing need alone. We affirm and employ culturally competent and evidence-based practices, recognizing the unique needs of each population and subpopulation we serve.

Increase Access and Reduce Barriers

All people deserve safe and stable permanent housing. We work toward that outcome by "screening in" participants for interventions that are right for them. We help create opportunities for people to succeed by focusing on their strengths and abilities, and by using Housing First and other evidence-based practices that recognize the autonomy of the person being served.

Strategically Prioritize Resources

We use strategic prioritization to ensure that people are connected to housing and services appropriate to their needs and eligibility, and to match those with the greatest needs to limited resources.

Ensure Consistency in CES Processes

All people in LA County have fair and equal access to CES. All CES locations and methods offer the same assessment approach and referrals using uniform and transparent decision-making processes, promoting consistency and efficiency across providers and regions.

Integrate Services Between Providers and Across Systems

Service providers and systems partners across LA County create continuity for CES participants by aligning programs within and allocating resources throughout CES.

Collaborate and Coordinate Among All Stakeholders

Service providers and other stakeholders across LA County share a mutual responsibility for system improvement, sharing resources and knowledge, and working collectively to end homelessness across the county.

[1] These Principles and Practices were approved by the CES Policy Council on August 23, 2017 in order to guide the development of systems-level policy and to support transparent and accountable decision-making.