Field Notes: Coordinated Assessment Gets Results

written by Kim Walker
April 4, 2012

Last week, we released our Coordinated Assessment/Coordinated Entry Toolkit. In it, we provide tools to help communities plan, implement, and evaluate a coordinated entry system. We’re going to continue to build on the toolkit, adding to it and updating it as new information comes in. And remember – we want you to be a part of that, so keep sending suggestions and feedback to me at

The reason we’re excited about this tool is that we know that coordinated assessment is something that gets results. The perfect example of this is in Dayton/Montgomery County, OH. Though they switched over to a coordinated assessment approach somewhat recently – August 2010 – they have already seen major results. These are just a few of them:

  • 18% of families over the past 7 months have been diverted from entering shelter. The vast majority of these families are being diverted without receiving any financial assistance – many of them are able to secure housing outside of shelter with the help of a case manager mediating on their behalf.
  • Emergency shelters that had up to 40 families a night last summer now have 7 families per night.
  • There were 12% fewer families who had a night of shelter in 2011 than in 2010.

We’ve seen similar results in other communities that are adopting this approach. By using a consistent assessment and referral process with a permanent housing focus, people are entering the system less, moving around within it less, and getting to the program that is best fit to serve and re-house them more quickly. And it’s not just communities that are seeing results – consumers have also reported that the coordinated assessment approach makes things much easier for them, too. Our promise to is that we’ll keep giving you news about interventions that, based on data, are effective for preventing and ending homelessness as long as you keep sharing your successes with us!