Coordinated Intake Q+A from June 23, 2011 webinar


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Coordinated Intake Q+A from June 23, 2011 webinar

  1. 1. Follow-Up Question and Answer from “Coordinated Entry, Part II: Serving Singles and Families in Columbus, OH”Please note: The questions below only include questions that were not answered during thewebinar presentation. Questions came from webinar participants – answers came from thefeatured speaker on the webinar, Lianna Barbu.Question: Had the YWCA been involved in working with families experiencinghomelessness prior to becoming the front door assessment organization?Answer: I believe so but I am not sure…Question: Are intakes only completed for those who come into shelter? If so, how areyou tracking those who call in and receive referrals to other options/resources? Also, areyou using the Client ID function of ServicePoint? If so, how has that worked for yourorganization?Answer: Full intakes are completed for only those that enter shelter. Thetriage/diversion assessment tracks those who call but do not receive an intake. We trackminimal demographic info in ServicePoint for all individuals, even those that do notenter shelter. Yes, we do use the Client ID frequently; it is our way to communicateabout a client without disclosing private information. We also use the Client ID for somereporting.Question: As a central intake program using ServicePoint, are you using ONLY thedatabase to make referrals, or do staff also make calls to programs that a client mayneed?Answer: Staff will also make calls to programs.Question: Can you talk more about the Job2Housing Program? What are therequirements for program entry? Is this program available for those at risk ofhomelessness and receiving prevention assistance?Answer: The program is available only to those that need rapid re-housing assistanceand are already homeless. The most important requirement for program entry is that thehousehold has to be willing to participate in vocational training or other trainingprograms to improve on job skills. In general, the household has to be identified as
  2. 2. needing longer term assistance.Question: Do you maintain a list of clients who can no longer be served due to pastbehavior, violence, SA, etc.? If so, how is that facilitated within your program?Answer: ServicePoint tracks “infractions” for a client and when those start and expire atthe client level. I do not believe that we have bans for life…Question: How have issues and laws regarding sex offenders impacted this program?Answer: Our shelters do not serve Tier III sex offendersQuestion: How is a "successful housing outcome" calculated? Are these requirementsstated in the performance based contracts?Answer: Please see our website for definition of our metrics, link below:, the requirements are stated in the performance-based contracts.Question: Can you describe the demographic characteristics of families served in yoursystem? How to you ensure a diverse community is served equally within the system?Answer: Please see the publication section of our website, link below: are multiple reports there that show the demographics of our families. Our systemserves every family that needs emergency shelter.Question: For adults who are not self-caring, is there a plan to get them from the mentalhealth referral to permanent housing?Answer: Not a structured plan at this time. However, our mental health system has set-aside units at most of our new permanent supportive housing developments. Inaddition, we are coordinating with our mental health board on assessing the homelessindividual’s service utilization within the mental health system to prioritize vulnerableindividuals into housing. Our shelters have also established a quarterly meeting withour mental health board to coordinate activities.Question: How do you improve diversion rates? How do your promote your programsto try and get families to contact you before their crisis gets too deep?Answer: That is the question that we are struggling with as well. We don’t yet have agood response.
  3. 3. Question: Considering the worsening federal and state funding climate, how stable doyou see your current programs being in 2-5 years?Answer: The family programs are fairly stable. We are more concerned about thefunding stability for the single adult programs. We are planning at this time to see howwe can improve the funding stability for these programs.Question: Are there still singles who are chronically homeless and facing barriers tohousing?Answer: Yes, there are. Sex offenders and individuals with arson histories are difficult toplace. We are prioritizing scattered-site developments for these individuals.Question: Where does your local Social Services (public assistance) department fit in?Answer: We are working to improve our relationships in this area. We currently have aprogram that we call “Benefits Partnership” – is in its piloting phase - where we havededicated staff working with homeless individuals to access SSI/SSDI and other publicbenefits they are eligible for.Question: How are single adults transported to the centralized point of access (CPOA)?What program or who bears this cost? How is this component funded?Answer: Single adults are not transported to the CPOA, they make their way there ontheir own (downtown location, on bus line). The CPOA will transport individuals totheir assigned shelter.Question: How long is the wait list? What happens to individuals while they wait?The length of the wait list varies. In the summer the list is the longest when there are nooverflow beds available. Right now we have about 20-30 individuals waitlisted.Unfortunately these individuals will have to find other sleeping options for the night,including the street.Question: For both families and singles, are the 24/7 intakes available by phone or inperson?Answer: Both by phone and in person.Question: What has been the response/feedback from clients who have to physically goto the coordinated entry location, then physically go to another shelter?
  4. 4. Answer: The advantage of the single location is that the individual has to visit one singleplace to gain access to shelter. Previously an individual could have visited multiplelocations in search of a bed. When the bed is assigned the client receives a bus pass or istransported to the location. We did not receive negative feedback about this change.Question: Is your centralized intake location embedded within an existing serviceprovider? Or is it a completely stand-alone entity that only does intake?Answer: At this time, it is embedded within an existing shelter provider. We are indiscussions about whether or not this is the best option.Question: In addition to streamlining the intake process for clients and having a betteridea of the true incidence of homelessness, has reduced duplication of services and/orcost avoidance due to the CPOA been tracked or projected? Have there been staffreductions/cost savings that have been identified? If so, at what level and/or how much?How many agencies are involved in the coordinated intake group? Has the CPOAmodel resulted in additional funding or community support for programming and/orclient services?Answer: Currently we are using HPRP funds for the piloting phase of the CPOA. Wehave not identified costs savings so far related to the implementation of CPOA, but thatwas one of the goals of this implementation. We are expecting costs savings fromincreased diversion rates and better service provision at shelters. Shelters no longer haveto spend staff time doing intake work so our expectation is that service levels willincrease, thus speeding up and increasing the successful outcomes for individuals inshelter. For the single adults we have 3 agencies involved in this coordination. We arenot looking to increase our $ investments in this area, we are looking to achieve costsavings.Question: Does the community have Gospel/Rescue mission/shelters? If som do theyparticipate in the Single Point of Entry?Answer: No.Question: I’m interested in hearing about how the wait list is managed. How is it thatthere is a wait list AND there is a 65% connection to a shelter bed in one day?Answer: The wait list is organized as a bedlist in ServicePoint, as a first come-firstserved list. Individuals on the wait list are checking in at given times to see where theyare on the wait list and if they will receive a bed for the night. 65% of individuals receivea shelter bed within a day; the rest do not, so they remain on the wait list as long as thereis no bed available.
  5. 5. Question: Is HMIS done in "real time"?Answer: Yes, at the central intakes.Question: How does transitional housing fit within your system flow for families?Answer: We do not have a significant amount of transitional housing for families – wehave one program only that provides addiction services to homeless families.Question: What percentage of clients arrive with pets?Answer: We do not have data on this. We are also not able to accommodate pets at thistime.Question: Can you draw indicators of cost savings using this system?Answer: Not at this time for the single adults – we are still in the piloting phase. Forfamilies the costs savings relate to the families that are diverted from the shelter anddon’t have to become homeless. We evaluated our prevention program for families vs.shelter stays and we saw costs savings in the prevention approach. The evaluation isavailable on our website ( Where can the daily public numbers related to shelter intake/wait list befound on your website?Answer: This report that is e-mailed out daily to our community and is not posted onour website.Question: How long is the intake process for an adult? For a family?Answer: 30 minutes for an adult, 1 ½ hours for a family.Question: What would you identify as parts of the system that could be improved?Answer: The wait list management at the CPOA could definitely be improved – wewant to get to the point where there is no wait list and no concentration of homelessindividuals looking for a shelter bed at the CPOA. The diversion part can be improvedas well; we are not at the diversion rate we would like to see. Lots of work still to bedone here.The Family System is functioning efficiently so there are no significant improvementsneeded.