Date Published: August 2016
Yes. As described in the February 2015 HUD Coordinated Entry Policy Brief, it may be appropriate, though not required, for communities to establish processes, “including different access points and screening and assessment tools,” for four specific groups only:
Continuums of Care (CoCs) are not required to have separate processes and there are many good reasons based on a community’s geographic size, population, characteristics of the local crisis response system, etc., for choosing single or separate processes. However, HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) both recognize that the cultural competencies, resources, safety protocols, service models, and rules and regulations are different enough for these populations that having separate processes may be necessary. For example, youth may have a separate access point, dedicated staff to conduct assessments, special questions and protocols, and a unique prioritization system that accounts for the differences in the experiences of homelessness for youth versus adults. Separate CE processes should be accounted for in the CoC’s policies and procedures related to CE, be consistently implemented across each of the four permissible subpopulations, and follow the community’s established assessment guidelines.
It is important for all subpopulation-specific systems to align their access and referral processes to account for the significant overlap between populations being served and the resources that should be available to them. For instance, while CE may primarily refer youth to youth-specific resources, there are typically additional non-youth-specific resources to which youth experiencing homelessness should have access. These resources include mainstream services aimed at a broader population than youth and housing interventions that may not specifically target youth, but from which some youth may still benefit. Similarly, a community with a process for families and a separate process for youth needs to be aware that young families may need to access both youth- and family-appropriate housing and services without having to go through two separate processes. Most importantly, the CE process should be developed with the full participation of all stakeholders so that the entire process is appropriate for the full breadth of populations.