Something new and very critical that we’re now able to offer at YWCA Evanston/North Shore is direct access to the Coordinated Entry System (CES) through our Housing Specialist/DV Assessor, Katie Scheuber.
What does this mean? It means that Katie can assist survivors of domestic violence in accessing affordable housing resources through the Coordinated Entry System. Coordinated Entry is a system funded by Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to ensure that the most vulnerable are able to access affordable housing resources in a fair and efficient manner. Here’s Katie:
What can I expect to happen with the Coordinated Entry System?
I’ll try to answer any questions you might have about Coordinated Entry, and if you’re interested, we can begin what’s called a “phased assessment.” In this process, we’ll start with a conversation about your safety and do some safety planning if needed. Next, we’ll complete an initial intake form which asks questions in the following areas:
- Demographic Questions
- Contact Information
- Assesses Disability
- Chronic Homelessness
- Household Income & Non-Cash Benefits
- Health Insurance
There are “client refused” and “client does not know” for every section or question so don’t worry if you’re unsure about answering some or all of these questions. Then, if it’s applicable we’ll complete a child & family needs assessment.
What’s next in this process is what’s called the VI-SPDAT, or Vulnerability Index. It’s a relatively short survey with mostly yes or no questions to determine factors that may contribute to how vulnerable you might be, which directly correlates with housing needs, placement, & prioritization. The questions in the VI-SPDAT typically assess for history of housing & homelessness, risks, socialization & daily functioning, & wellness. Upon completion, there will be a score that will relate to a recommendation for a particular housing assessment.
If you’re a survivor of domestic violence, you’ll also complete a similarly intentionned tool, the Domestic Violence Prioritization Indicator. This tool tries to assess for any sense of immediate danger. After completing the two pre-screen triage tools, it will be determined if we proceed with the housing assessment process.
The time to complete all these documents can range from 1 to 3 hours and/or I can do it over several meetings if it’s easier or makes more sense. Because of recent needs to practice social distancing, I’m able to do this process over the phone or through video chat! If you’re interested in working with me through this process, you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or my Google Voice number, 708-730-4384.
It’s important to note that as a Coordinated Entry/Domestic Violence Assessor, I am able to do this process in a safe, anonymous way without disclosing any identifying information.
Remember, Coordinated Entry is a great way to access the housing system, but it’s not the only option, and I’d recommend everyone pursue Coordinated Entry as well as other sources for housing such as through various non-profits or housing authorities.
To learn more about the Suburban Cook County Coordinated Entry, you can visit: myentrypoint.org
To learn more about Chicago’s Coordinated Entry, you can visit: cshorg.wpengine.com/chicagoces