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Coordinated Entry System

Coordinated entry processes help communities prioritize assistance based on vulnerability and severity of service needs, to ensure that people who need assistance the most can receive it in a timely manner.

Coordinated entry changes a CoC from a project-focused system to a person-focused system.

The CoC Program interim rule defines the coordinated entry as a 'centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake assessment and provision of referrals.' [Such a] system covers the [CoC’s] geographic area, is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, is well advertised, and includes a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool. (24 CFR part 578.3)

Historically, CoCs allowed each project to develop and implement its admission criteria and processes. Once people were on a project’s waiting list, they were usually served on a first-come, first-served basis without regard to their level of vulnerability. As a result, some program participants received assistance that was either more or less extensive than they needed, and many people received no assistance at all because they were screened out by exclusionary admission criteria or preferences set by the projects.

Now, Coordinated Entry aims to 'orient the community to one or two central prioritizing principles by which the community can make decisions about how to utilize its resources most effectively' (Coordinated Entry Policy Brief, p. 4). These prioritization approaches ensure that across all subpopulations and people with various types of disabilities, those most vulnerable, at the highest risk of continued homelessness, or with the most severe service needs will be prioritized for assistance.

The 2017 Coordinated Entry Notice establishes new requirements for coordinated entry that CoCs and recipients and sub-recipients of CoC Program or ESG Program grants must meet as of January 23, 2018.

Core Elements

The figure above shows how coordinated entry's core elements might relate to one another.


The engagement point for persons experiencing a housing crisis.

Persons might initially access the system by calling a hotline, walking into a facility, or being engaged through outreach efforts.


Providers assess the person's housing needs, preferences, and vulnerability.

Progressive: Potentially multiple layers of information gathering can occur at various phases, for different purposes, by one or more staff.


A person's needs and vulnerability may be documented for the purposes of determining prioritization.

Helps the CoC manage its inventory of community housing resources and services.


Persons are referred to CoC housing resources and services in accordance with the CoC's documented prioritization guidelines.

Above material retried from HUD. More details on Core Elements.

Coordinated Entry: Indiana

Click here to access the Coordinated Entry Lead Agency/Regional contact list.