HUD PD&R conducted a qualitative case study of the Coordinated Entry for All System in King County, Washington. In King County’s coordinated entry (CE) system, Continuums of Care (CoCs) prioritize individuals experiencing homelessness through a standard assessment of individuals’ vulnerability and service needs. CoCs then match these individuals with housing and support services.
The PD&R report examined the implementation of the coordinated entry system. The study team conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with recently housed tenants, direct service staff in various roles, and policy leaders involved in the Coordinated Entry for All (CEA) system in King County. A qualitative analysis was conducted to examine how CE facilitates or creates barriers to housing individuals experiencing homelessness.
Participants in the current study confirmed data-based findings from locally commissioned evaluations of CEA’s implementation that revealed disparities by age, race, and gender in housing prioritization and referrals among single adults experiencing homelessness. Study findings align with emerging research showing the potential for CE systems to exacerbate racial disparities in homelessness. The analysis also identified several ways in which King County adapted to emerging concerns and provides recommendations for CE systems to consider. Finally, the study also highlights the importance of including lived experience in policy and program implementation and research.