Coordinated Entry System (CES)

The Coordinated Entry System (CES) is an efficient network of care, helping individuals and families resolve their housing crises by accessing valuable resources in an equitable, person-centered, and transparent manner.

About CES

A Coordinated Entry System (CES) is an evidence-based strategy that focuses on housing and service coordination designed to link homeless people to the most appropriate housing solution based on their needs.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all projects funded under Continuums of Care (CoC) and to utilize CES.  The goals of an effective Coordinated Entry system are to quickly identify homeless people, to prevent homelessness whenever possible, to appropriately assess the needs of consumers that request help, and to connect them to housing and services quickly. 

The San Diego Continuum of Care was one of the earliest adopters of Coordinated Entry.  The original system was born out of a federal initiative called 25 Cities Initiative.  The 25 Cities Initiative encouraged Continuums of Care to work with community partners to mobilize existing resources to align housing and services.   While the San Diego Community worked to streamline its processes, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was also developing and outlining the framework for Coordinated Entry nationwide.  Issued in 2017, with a required implementation date of January 2018, HUD documented Coordinated Entry requirements for communities receiving CoC, ESG and HOPWA funding in an effort to ensure a more fair and equitable process for distributing limited local resources to vulnerable households in need.  

CES integrates Housing First, Harm Reduction, and Trauma Informed Care approaches into its housing and supportive services.

  • Housing First focuses on moving people experiencing homelessness into housing and providing additional support and services each person needs and wants to stabilize.
  • Harm Reduction focuses on reducing and minimizing risky behaviors and consequences associated with drug and alcohol use.
  • Trauma Informed Care focuses on understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.

CES Policies and Procedures

CES User Resources

All training videos and materials, forms, and workflows are only accessible by parties who have been or need to be trained in navigating the CES with clients and within Clarity. You may view the HUD CES 101 Brief Presentation for a general overview.

DV CES Resources

211 Pocket Resource Guides 2024

CES Training

CES Prioritization Tool Webinar

This training held on 7/27/2021 covers information on how to Identify clients for case conferencing, an assessment of the current BNL, and ensuring composite scores are reflective of data in accordance to the community standards. 

CES Workflow in Clarity Training 

Any HMIS User who needs access to enter data related to the Coordinated Entry System (CES) in Clarity (including entering information into the CES Triage Tool for clients you are working with and/or accepting referrals to a permanent housing program) must attend a CES Workflow in Clarity Training session before being granted access.

FY 2020 CE Data Standards Update

As you may have seen from earlier this year and the 2020 Data Standards update from October 2019, some changes are coming to the Coordinated Entry workflow. Our Coordinated Entry System is continually progressing and evolving in order to best suit the needs of our community. With these most recent changes required by HUD it was necessary to reshape the way our community currently completes the Coordinated Entry workflow in Clarity.

On October 1, 2020 we will be launching a new Coordinated Entry workflow in Clarity.

These changes were initially going to launch in April 2020, but in response to the COVID-19 pandemic HUD pushed the deadline back and we are now launching on October 1st, 2020.  Since April, a number of modifications have been made to the original content of our training to better represent our current needs. Due to this, anyone who wants to continue to have access to the Coordinated Entry System within Clarity will need to take our current training shared here.

Webinar and Quiz

We have recorded a FY2020 Coordinated Entry Updates Webinar (link below) in order to introduce the 2020 workflow and walk the community through what these changes will look like in Clarity. Please make sure to watch the webinar by going to the link provided below. 

After watching the Webinar, please make sure to complete the corresponding FY2020 Coordinated Entry Quiz which is also provided as a link below.

The 2020 Coordinated Entry Updates Webinar and the FY2020 Coordinated Entry Quiz are required for all existing users to retain access to CES. All new HMIS users will need to complete the HMIS New User Training and FY2020 Coordinated Entry workflow webinar and quiz in Clarity Training.

As soon as you complete the Webinar and successfully pass the quiz with at least a 90% score email to obtain access to the CES agency and program.

Upon gaining access, please make sure that you enroll the clients you are working with towards housing into the CES project noted in the webinar. We will be using the data you enter into the CES project to inform our By Name Pool where we pull our most vulnerable clients to be referred to available housing resources.


Office Hours and Ongoing Support

Please check our Events page for any upcoming Office Hours sessions. 

If you have any questions or need support around the new CES workflow, please reach out to us at  Inquiries received will also help build our FAQ sheet for community reference. The office hours discussions will inform and help to build the FAQ.   

We thank you for the commitment you make in helping people move into housing. It’s the connections you make, the rapport you build that support our fellow San Diegans in building the relationships and support network they need to sustain their success in moving towards housing. It’s important to remember that while we use tools like CES it is the work you do every day with our clients that ultimately get them housed. Systems don’t house people, people house people.


Webinar Link (or copy/paste the following: 

Quiz Link(or copy/paste the following: )

FAQ Link (updated with most recent questions)
(or copy/paste the following: )


CES Workflow in the HMIS

The most recent guided, step-by-step instructions on how to enter client(s) into the CES into the HMIS can be found here.

Are You Homeless?

DIAL 2-1-1

If you need immediate assistance, please visit this website or call 2-1-1 for information on resources and services near you.

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