MHSA envisions a homelessness response system that works closely with individuals in housing crisis to assess strategies for staying in housing or moving back into housing as quickly as possible. Designated triage and assessment centers would be the “front door” of this new system. At a triage and assessment center, an intake worker would assess the specific needs of the individual in crisis and direct that person to the appropriate resources. Some individuals will need only a little assistance to avoid entering shelter – for example, financial assistance with back-owed rent or utilities payments. For individuals who cannot stay in their most recent housing situation, rapid re-housing or permanent supportive housing resources could be a better fit. Short-term shelter would continue to be available to homeless individuals who need a safe place to stay while pursuing housing and services.
For more information about triage and assessment strategies, also known as “coordinated entry,” visit the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Solutions Database.