Coordinated Entry Redesign
The Smart Path Coordinated Entry System will no longer be available for assessment and referral to housing resources after December 30, 2022. Housing for Health (H4H) Division staff, working with Bitfocus and Focus Strategies, has developed a redesign of the coordinated entry process for the Continuum of Care (CoC). The changes are critical because the CoC does not have sufficient permanent housing available within the community to house all people experiencing homelessness who interact with the system; only 133 referrals to housing were made over the last year and 1,774 were living without shelter in the 2022 Point in Time Count. The redesign will allow ongoing and more regular support for those experiencing homelessness. H4H Division staff has involved community members and people with lived experience of homelessness in the development of the redesign.
On December 14, 2022, the Housing for Health Partnership Policy Board approved three action steps to allow H4H Division staff move forward with a redesign expected to be implemented April 1, 2023.
- The Vulnerability Index- Service Priority Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) will no longer be used as an assessment after December 31, 2022.
- Specific staff may voluntarily engage in housing problem solving using paper versions of a new assessment (Housing Needs Assessment) and a Housing Action Plan from January 2023 through March 2023.
- Active participants on the Housing Queue on December 31, 2022 will continue to be prioritized, matched, and referred to housing based on VI-SPDAT scores through March 2023.
Therefore, effective December 30, 2022, the Smart Path assessment workflow will be disabled in Clarity. In January, February, and March, H4H Division staff will be working with designated providers to pilot the new process. The process uses a problem solving approach to assess and work with people experiencing homelessness in moving towards stable housing; select staff designated to provide this service are referred to as Connectors. The approach is intended to facilitate frequent and useful engagement with people experiencing homelessness, as well as more transparency for participants and service providers about who will be referred to housing programs and what the timeline is. The Housing Needs Assessment, which is integrated into this process is designed to both assess and prioritize the most vulnerable households for system housing resources as well as to support the development of concrete Housing Action Plans. As a part of the pilot, designated Connectors will be working to transition many of those currently active on the community queue to the new Housing Queue.
The Coordinated Entry Redesign is part of a larger system-wide effort the Housing for Health Partnership is launching in 2023. H4H Division staff will be working with partner organizations and providers to more fully develop a data driven system by implementing updated Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) policies and procedures and coordination around data use and interpretation for addressing system issues.
Updates on the transition and redesign will be available on this webpage as they roll out. More information on the requirements and expectations associated with becoming a Connector will be forthcoming. Specific questions can be directed to HousingforHealth@santacruzcounty.us.