Coordinated Access and Assessment


Introduction and Requirements

The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) to develop a centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake, assessment, and provision of referrals.


The Coordinated Access and Assessment Systems (CAAS) must:

  • At a minimum, be used by recipients of ESG and CoC program funds;

  • Cover the geographic area of the CoC;

  • Be easily accessible by individuals and families seeking assistance;

  • Be well advertised; and

  • Include a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool with written standards for its usage.

Development and Implementation of CAAS

A CAAS Taskforce was developed to research and develop CAAS recommendations that will reduce the burden of navigating the system for those who are homeless while connecting them to appropriate housing through a defined referral framework. The CAAS Taskforce developed the following recommendations for implementation of CAAS:

  • Scope: Five (5) year implementation process starting with a one (1) year pilot beginning in 2015.

  • Roll Out:

    • Pilot: CoC projects and identified as Initial Access Sites

    • Phase 1: ESG and VA funded projects

    • Phase 2: Remaining homeless housing and service programs

  • Assessment: A triage tool (short questionnaire) will be conducted with everyone seeking services to determine if the person is homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. If determined to be homeless or at risk, he/she will be assessed with the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT).