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 efficiently and equitably match people to available housing resources and services that best fit their needs.
In early 2011, an early system version was put into practice in a series of pilots in Skid Row, ground zero for homelessness in LA 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. In 2014, CES expanded to reach all eight Service Planning Areas (SPA) in LA County.
CES, as it stands today, is split into 3 systems that serve Adults, Families with Children, and Youth across the eight SPAs. People and their information are added to a data-bsbase called the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and are then referred to different resources across the County that match their needs.
As defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Coordinated Entry is "a process developed to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access and are quickly identified, assessed for, referred, and connected to housing and assistance based on their strengths and needs." Starting in 2013, HUD began requiring recipients of federal Continuum of Care (CoC) or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding to practice Coordinated Entry, as its efficacy had been proven in a number of different communities with significant homeless populations
LAHSA, as both the CoC lead and the homeless services system lead agency in Los Angeles, ensures that Coordinated Entry is practiced by managing the Coordinated Entry System, an organized network of homeless service providers, system funders, and other partners from across the County who coordinate their resources and services according to a set of common principles and shared procedures. These principles work to standardize approaches on:
- How people access services and how their needs are assessed.
- How people are prioritized for limited resources
CES is held together through the use of a data-bsbase accessible by providers in CES called the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS holds the information of CES participants and is integral to how homeless individuals are prioritized, referred, and tracked as they move on their journey toward housing.
Using its joint powers authority as a City and County government agency, LAHSA also works with neighboring CoCs and Cities to strengthen the network of CES providers and even help to coordinate care outside of the CoC or CES jurisdiction.
CES is based on four core principles: respect, accountability, consistency, and integration. These principles can be seen through the following actions that all staff involved in CES practice every single day.
Promote Person-Centered Processes
We use client choice and strengths-based approaches to inform participants of services, housing, and referrals in order to respect the whole person without reducing them to their housing need alone.
In addition, we employ culturally competent and evidence-based practices, recognizing the unique needs of each population and subpopulation we serve.
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.
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.
Increase Access and Reduce Barriers
All people deserve safe and stable permanent housing. We work toward that outcome by interviewing people to help find interventions that are right for them. We keep our services "low-barrier", so all are invited to participate.
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.
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.
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.
Adults (age 18+)
Families (household with a child under age 18)
Youth (age 18-24)
CES has programs that are tailored for people experiencing homelessness from each of these household types. Not all programs in CES will be available for each age group. For example, some programs may be accessible to Adults only.
In addition to these, there are programs that provide services for specifics groups, such as those who are fleeing domestic violence and those who identify as U.S. Armed Forces Veterans. If you fall under one of these specialized groups, consider visiting the Get Help page to get in contact with a program.
- Access | We do our best to help you access services in an area near you.
- Assessment | The second step is to provide some basic information about yourself and your situation. This way, we can connect you with resources and help you on your path to housing.
- Prioritization/Referral/Matching | Staff can help you problem solve, refer you to resources, and help you with next steps. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible and/or prioritized for various resources.
If you have experienced abuse, mistreatment, or any other kind of bad behavior at one of our contracted facilities, let us know, and we will help to resolve your issue as quickly as possible.