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Eastern PA COC RFP: Coordinated Entry Access Site Operations

Published: August 4, 2017

RFP due by August 31, 2017

OVERVIEW
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program
is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to
provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly rehouse
homeless individuals, families, persons fleeing domestic violence, and youth while
minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness; to promote access to and
effective utilization of mainstream programs by the homeless; and to optimize self-sufficiency
among those experiencing homelessness.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care is comprised of five Regional Homeless
Advisory Boards (RHABs) that identify local homeless issues, coordinate planning for projects,
identify needs, and develop strategies and priorities to end homelessness in the local area.
Each RHAB is responsible for operationalizing the policies adopted by the CoC by working
with their community to address and end homelessness locally. The five RHABs and the
respective counties served by each RHAB are as follows:

  • RHAB 1 (South Central) – Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Franklin, Fulton,
    Huntingdon, Somerset
  • RHAB 2 (Lehigh Valley) – Lehigh, Northampton
  •  RHAB 3 (Central Valley) – Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour,
    Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Union
  • RHAB 4 (Northern Tier) – Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga,
    Wyoming
  •  RHAB 5 (Pocono) – Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne

The Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care’s housing crisis response system denotes all
the services and housing available to persons who are at imminent risk of experiencing literal
homelessness and those who are homeless. Beginning in January 2018, the CoC’s
Coordinated Entry System (CES) will coordinate access, assessment and referral into the
housing crisis response system for all households and populations. CES will also attempt to
divert households from entering shelter if possible. Diversion is a strategy that prevents
homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternate housing
arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to
help them return to permanent housing.

Consumers will have the opportunity to access the CES through either a toll-free Call Center or
through designated Access Sites in each region (consumers will choose one or the other, not
both). While all HUD-funded programs will be required to receive referrals from CES, all local
housing and service providers will be encouraged to participate in order to maximize the
efficient and effective use of all community resources to end homelessness. Coordinated Entry
System client data will be entered, managed, saved and analyzed by the CoC’s Homeless
Management Information System (HMIS).

Coordinated Entry System Access Sites
The Coordinated Entry System Access Sites will be the physical “front doors” into the Eastern
Pennsylvania Continuum of Care’s housing crisis response system. Access Sites will provide
Coordinated Entry services Monday through Friday, preferably between the hours of 9:00 a.m.
and 4:00 p.m. At each Access Site, one or more trained Coordinated Entry Specialists will
provide screening, assessment and referral to any person or household in crisis, whatever
their age or number (adults, youth, or children; singles or couples, with or without children),
experiencing a housing crisis. After hours, on weekends and during national holidays, the Call
Center will respond to anyone attempting to contact Coordinated Entry.

Access Sites should be located in safe, family-friendly locations easily accessible to public
transportation. The CoC aspires to have at least one Access Site in every community that has
a concentration of need and/or services, resources permitting. Access Sites may have one or
more full-time or part-time Coordinated Entry Specialists, who may be staff members or
volunteers, in whatever configuration allows for the delivery of Coordinated Entry services
during business hours (again, resources permitting). A dedicated, full-time Regional
Coordinated Entry Manager (separate RFP/contract) will coordinate the overall operations,
training, communications and collaboration between Access Sites in each of the five regions of
the CoC, but Coordinated Entry Specialists will still be employed and managed by their own
organization.

Any organization that works directly with people in crisis and has experience delivering intake
and referral services may apply to be an Access Site, including, but not limited to, housing and
homeless service providers, healthcare providers, human service providers, first responders,
public libraries, faith-based organizations and County/municipal government agencies, among
others.

Click below to read more about responsibilities, qualifications, and how to apply.
Eastern PA CoC RFP for Coordinated Entry Access Site Operations

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