Commissioners bring Coordinated Entry in-house starting July 1

A physical location to be added to program that serves people at risk of homelessness

The Coordinated Entry program – the access point for local services for people experiencing homelessness – will be overseen by Chelan County beginning July 1.

At its regular board meeting on March 25, Chelan County commissioners agreed the program, which serves Chelan and Douglas counties, would be better operated if it was overseen by the county’s Housing Program.

"Providing the community a Coordinated Entry program is a requirement of counties. Moving the program inhouse gives us the opportunity to provide consistent services to the people in need of them," Commissioner Kevin Overbay said. "This will also limit employee turnover and afford us the ability to implement program changes, such as creating centralized case management, as laws and community needs change."

Coordinated Entry is a process that standardizes the way individuals and families at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness are assessed for and referred to the housing and services that they need for housing stability. It matches people to local programs and services as well as grants immediate needs when possible. Because a coordinated entry program is mandated by state law, most counties oversee the local program in their respective communities.

In the past three years, Coordinated Entry has been contracted out to three different agencies. Currently, the Wenatchee Rescue Mission operates the program; however, this contract was meant to be temporary while Chelan County researched bringing the program in-house.

At this time, Coordinated Entry is only accessible by online application or telephone. Commissioners would like to see a physical location that clients can visit if they are in need of services.

Staff proposes the main location of Coordinated Entry be a rented space in Wenatchee. It must be accessible to the population it serves and within walking distance of a bus stop. Staff currently is looking at a few locations for the July 1 launch, said Amber Hallberg, Housing Program coordinator for Chelan County.

The program currently employs two full-time employees. Staff proposes hiring an additional full-time employee, with all employees being under the supervision of the county’s Housing Program coordinator.

The program currently is paid for with a mix of revenues generated by recording fees (called 2163 funds), the state’s Emergency Housing Fund and funding from the Department of Commerce called the Local Document Recording Fee Support. The county already has been funding Coordinated Entry, and costs are expected to include the addition of an employee and about $24,000 in start-up costs to bring the program in-house from now until July 1, Hallberg said.

Next steps include hiring a Coordinated Entry lead position by May 1. The lead position will begin training and assisting in the transition of the program to the county. Staff also will be finalizing a location and a budget for the program and reporting back to commissioners.

Last Updated: 03/28/2024 01:37 PM

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