CONNECT TO HOME: COORDINATED ENTRY SYSTEM OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SEEKS TO END HOMELESSNESS
Harrisburg, PA – Connect To Home: Coordinated Entry System (CES) of Eastern PA coordinates access, assessment, prioritization and referral into the housing crisis response system for all households and populations in a thirty-three county region
Connect To Home is administered by the Eastern PA Continuum of Care (CoC), the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and the United Way of Pennsylvania. The CoC is working together to end and prevent homelessness with five-year strategic goals, which include: to reduce all homelessness by 50%; end chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans; reduce homelessness among unaccompanied youth and families with children; and set a path to end all homelessness.
“The Eastern PA Continuum of Care recognizes the launch of Connect To Home: Coordinated Entry System as an important milestone in the implementation of our strategic plan”, states Jeff Rich, Chair, Eastern PA CoC Governing Board. “It is exciting to see a multitude of resources linked to a simple access method like 2-1-1. This will truly revolutionize our service delivery model throughout our 33-county area.”
"By coordinating entry for anyone experiencing homelessness, Connect To Home is helping a large region of Eastern Pennsylvania prioritize housing and supportive services for the most vulnerable while ensuring more equitable access for all,” says Jason Alexander, Capacity for Change, LLC, Eastern PA CoC CES Consultant. “While Coordinated Entry Systems cannot promise housing or services to everyone, Connect To Home will generate more accurate data about unmet community needs to inform future planning efforts and build a stronger case for investing in solutions that have a greater impact."
People experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk for homelessness may access Connect To Home by calling 2-1-1 toll-free 24/7 or presenting in-person at CoC-designated Access Sites, located across the Eastern region, during normal business hours. When an individual connects with 2-1-1 or visits an Access Site, Coordinated Entry Specialists conduct an assessment and provide direct referral to emergency services and/or placement on the community Queue prioritization list for housing programs.
“Housing issues have always been one of the top reasons people call 2-1-1. We are pleased to partner in a coordinated effort to address homelessness. A call to 2-1-1 connects you to a trained specialist who will ask questions about your housing needs. 2-1-1 information and referral specialists also refer callers to community services such as food programs, utility assistance and more. One call to 2-1-1 can address multiple needs,” according to Anne Fogoros, statewide operations director for PA 2-1-1.
Coordinated Entry Systems are utilized to connect more people to the right solution to end their housing crisis or homelessness as quickly and effectively as possible. This system will ensure limited housing and resources are prioritized for the people who need them the most while generating more accurate data to make the case for appropriate levels of investment in the future.
“Connect To Home is a strategy to connect people to the right services as quickly as possible. It is also a broad-based collaboration that leverages public and private resources. It is consistent with United Way’s vision for the future of 2-1-1 as a life-changing service for Pennsylvanians,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania.
The thirty-three counties covered by the CES include: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties.