In its most basic form, coordinated entry is housing-focused and designed to quickly connect families experiencing a housing crisis with housing and housing-related resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. It standardizes the assessment process across local providers, and coordinates the referral for resources (such as prevention services, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, emergency shelter, and case management) in a way that incorporates participant choice, and allows communities to prioritize scarce resources towards the most vulnerable community members.
As defined by the CoC Program Interim Rule, a coordinated assessment system is defined to mean a centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake, assessment, and provision of referrals. A centralized or coordinated assessment system covers the geographic area, is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, is well advertised, and includes a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool. The CoC must also incorporate and consistently follow written prioritization and eligibility standards for providing assistance. At a minimum, the coordinated assessment system must include CoC and Emergency Solutions Grant funded programs but is designed to be inclusive of all programs serving persons seeking housing or services.