Lane County Human Services launches new technologies to improve access to housing and shelter services

Lane County Human Services launches new technologies to improve access to housing and shelter services
Posted on 02/08/2024

Lane County Human Services, a division of Lane County Health & Human Services, today announced the launch of several new technologies designed to improve access and reduce barriers to shelters and housing options in Lane County.


The Lane County Coordinated Entry (LCCE) Web Portal, the Real Time Shelter Finder, and a new partnership with 211 will improve the experience of those seeking shelter or the next step in their housing journey by allowing more options to sign up and locate services. These new developments were only made possible through the work and coordination of community partners, and funding through ALL IN Lane County.


“Coordinated Entry is an integral process that, through a standardized assessment, prioritization, and referrals, aims to streamline and simplify the ways people in need of housing supports access services. Our goal is to connect people with the resources as quickly and easily as possible and in a manner that best suits their needs,” said Lane County Interim Encampment Focused Outreach Coordinator James Ewell.


LCCE is a low-barrier first step to accessing services available to anyone in Lane County facing a housing crisis. LCCE insures anyone can gain equitable access to the appropriate resources and housing interventions that fulfill their needs. Previously, to access LCCE, community members needed to visit a service provider, often having to schedule an appointment. The new LCCE Web Portal allows initial access to Coordinated Entry to be done anywhere via a phone or computer, eliminating the time associated with needing to travel to a physical location. If internet access is a barrier, community members can also sign-up for LCCE via phone by simply dialing 211 or continuing to utilize the in-person access points located across the county and found on the LCCE website. This new partnership with 211 will allow community members seeking to learn more about available housing services to speak with a care coordinator. The coordinator can also assist in signing-up for LCCE.


The Real Time Shelter Finder will also increase access by providing a “real-time” look at what shelters are available, which shelters a shelter seeker is eligible for and which have vacancies across Lane County in an easy-to-navigate map format. Previously, community members in need of shelter would either need to call each shelter to inquire about vacancy, or physically present themselves at the shelter location. The former process was cumbersome and led to some shelters being over capacity while others remained under.


“We see this development as a practical way to provide a better user experience for shelter seekers while also helping to make the process less redundant and more efficient for the shelters themselves,” added Ewell.


Once services are requested through Coordinated Entry's access points, trained assessors conduct an assessment to determine what pathways to housing are available for the household. If a household is unable to be quickly connected to housing outside of Coordinated Entry referral, a Front Door Assessment will be completed with the household. Referrals from the Front Door Assessment will connect individuals to programs that combine housing stabilization and other community-based supportive services. Coordinated Entry provides referrals to Rapid Rehousing programs that assist households with short (1-3 months) or medium (4-24 months) term rental assistance to help them obtain and stabilize permanent housing, while Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs are designed to serve highly vulnerable households who are experiencing chronic homelessness and have a disability. When accessing housing services through Coordinated Entry, the information collected is limited to what is necessary to receive services, and assessors will only share that information with service providers.


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