Programs that provide financial assistance and supportive services that stabilize households in their current housing or help them to move into new housing without first entering the shelter system or experiencing homelessness. Services may include financial assistance (short or medium-term rental assistance, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance), housing relocation and stabilization services, legal assistance (generally mediation), credit counselling and case management. The goal is to help households resolve their crisis, secure short-term financial or rental assistance as needed, and access ongoing sources of support in the community in order to remain housed. If the individual or family is unable to stay in their existing housing, the prevention program helps the household to find an alternative housing arrangement that is safe, reasonably affordable and adequate.
Organizations that are part of a community-wide, coordinated effort to identify, assess and find appropriate options for homeless individuals and families seeking housing or related services, and/or for those at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Coordinated Entry is a standardized approach to assessing a homeless individual or family's needs and the services they may require to achieve housing stability. The number of physical access points in the community for intake and assessment may vary (no wrong door), but all sites use the same assessment and targeting tools; make referrals using the same criteria and have access to the same set of resources including homelessness prevention (e.g., rent assistance), shelters, shelter diversion programs, service centres, transitional housing programs, permanent housing programs and outreach programs. Most coordinated entry programs also include real-time knowledge about program inventory and capacity, referral and waiting list management, and enrollment/admission decision criteria as process components.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.