Best Practices in our CoC
Partners Ending Homelessness facilitates and encourages the Guilford County Continuum of Care (CoC) toward utilization of these and other homelessness best practices for prevention and mitigation.
Housing First -The Housing First model is most noteworthy of the homelessness best practices. This model addresses chronic homelessness by providing housing and specialized case management focused on housing stability. It has proven to be more effective than traditional “housing readiness” approaches. Traditional approaches require individuals to meet certain goals, such as achieving sobriety, entering treatment, or completing training prior to accessing housing. For a more in depth discussion of Housing First, click here.
Rapid Rehousing – Rapid re-housing is another intervention designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. Furthermore, offered without preconditions, the resources and services provided through rapid re-housing are tailored to the unique needs of each individual household.
Diversion – Diversion assists households in finding housing outside of an emergency shelter. At the same time, they will receive services to stabilize their housing or help them move into permanent housing. As a result, this homelessness best practices strategy helps individuals who are seeking shelter to identify immediate alternate housing arrangements.
By Name Lists – PEH and our CoC agencies have developed by name lists of homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals. CoC agencies meet regularly to review and revise the list and focus on strategies. Therefore, the agencies are able to find housing for them as quickly as possible. The list allows us to assess our progress. Next targeted groups for by name lists are families with children and unaccompanied youth.
Coordinated Entry – Imagine a person’s first entry into the homeless service system. Where does one go? What agencies deal with that need? Individuals spend much time and experience much frustration before they reach the correct agency to help them. Coordinated Entry is the concept there there is one “door” into the system. The coordinated entry process means that families will be served by the right intervention more quickly.
Coordinated Assessment – Coordinated Assessment works in tandem with Coordinated Entry. Individuals and families are all assessed by the same basic criteria of need. Providers make decisions on which programs families are referred to based on a comprehensive understanding of each program’s specific requirements, target population, and available beds and services. In Guilford County, we use the SPDAT survey tool to determine the level of acuity/need.
Low Barrier Policies – No one deserves to be without housing. Low barrier means that participants are not required to be sober, compliant with mental health or addiction treatment plans, or agree to participate in programs to receive services and housing support. Consequently, this type of policy allows those most in need to have access to housing.
An addendum for the Written Standards has been included in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: FINAL Written Standards COVID Addendum with Attachments