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Under the requirements of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Continuum of Care Program (HEARTH Act), The Rhode Island Continuum of Care (“RICOC”) is required to implement a coordinated entry system. Coordinated entry is a powerful tool designed to ensure that households experiencing homelessness are matched, as quickly as possible, with the intervention that will most efficiently and effectively end their homelessness. Coordinated Entry is a data-driven concept which is widely accepted as a best practice in homeless assistance systems to achieve three goals:
“Coordinated Entry changes a COC from a project-focused system into a person-focused system by asking that ‘communities prioritize people who are most in need of assistance’ and ‘strategically allocate their current resources and identify the need for additional resources’” (Coordinated Entry Notice p. 2; Coordinated Entry Core Elements, p. 8). This change to a person-focused approach for prioritization of RICOC shelter, housing and services aligns with Housing First.
Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions or barriers to entry. For the policies and procedure for Coordinated Entry go to: Rhode Island CES Statewide Strategy Manual
The Rhode Island Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a partnership of all of the homeless providers in the state and is initiative of the Rhode Island Continuum of Care. The day to day operations of this program is led by the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and Crossroads Rhode Island. Crossroads Rhode Island operates the Coordinated Entry Hotline and all diversion/entry to the shelter system. The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless manages the permanent housing placement part of the program, once persons are in a shelter or are living on the street, for more information go to https://www.rihomeless.org/coordinated-entry.
Affordable housing is available across the state through public, private and non-profit providers. Housing is affordable when an individual or family pays 30% of their income for housing. There are several programs available across the state to assist individuals (with lower incomes) pay for housing through a rental subsidy/voucher.