Coordinated Entry for Homeless Services
updated September 26, 2023

The Coordinated Entry System (CES) helps people who are experiencing homelessness get into housing. Coordinated Entry lets you contact one office to get into a system that matches people with housing in many different programs. This makes it easier for you to get connected with a program that can help you find a place to live.

Coordinated Entry works statewide, but is run separately in ten different regions. With Coordinated Entry, you contact one office in your region. If you qualify, they do an assessment to see what type of help you need and put your information into the system.

Coordinated Entry prioritizes people based on their needs and situation. How long you have to wait to get a place depends on when there is a program that has a vacancy for people in your situation with your needs.

Use HB101’s Homeless Services Map to contact the Coordinated Entry System.

Note: Not every housing program is part of the Coordinated Entry System. HB101’s Programs page lists other programs that may help you if you are at risk of homelessness.

Who It Helps

Coordinated Entry is for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. In the ten different Coordinated Entry regions, there are some differences in who qualifies. For example, in some regions, for Coordinated Entry you have to be living on the street, in an emergency shelter, or in some other place that isn’t a home (like a car). In other regions, for Coordinated Entry you can also be couch-hopping (staying temporarily with friends or family).

Important: If you are leaving a domestic violence situation, you always qualify for Coordinated Entry.

How It Helps

There are many housing options and programs that help people who are experiencing homelessness, but often it’s hard to find them and get help from them.

If your name is in the Coordinated Entry System, you are in a statewide system that will try to connect you with housing. Being in the Coordinated Entry System does not mean you automatically get put into housing, but it does mean that if there is a vacancy that matches your needs, you might be able to move in.

In different areas of the state, there are different offices you can contact to get into the Coordinated Entry System. These offices are called “access points.” Which access point you should contact depends on where you live and your situation. For example, your Coordinated Entry access point may depend on if you are a single adult, a family, or are leaving a domestic violence situation.

When you contact a Coordinated Entry access point, they do an assessment where they look at your situation to see what sort of help you need and the urgency of finding a place. When there is a program that can help you, they contact you.

HB101’s Homeless Services Map can help you find the best Coordinated Entry access point for you.

Programs It Helps With

Coordinated Entry connects people with different types of housing, including:

  • Rapid rehousing, which helps people temporarily, until they can find another place. At first, it helps with rent, but after a period of time, you may have to pay rent yourself. That gives you a while to increase your income.
  • Transitional housing, which helps people for up to 24 months (two years). It helps with rent and services during this time. After two years, you may have to move out or pay the full rent on your own. Transitional housing is often for people in certain situations, like veterans or youth.
  • Permanent supportive housing, which helps people with permanent housing and supportive services, including case management, mental health services, and life skills. What you pay is based on your income. Learn more about permanent supportive housing.
  • Long-Term Homeless (LTH) Housing Support, which is a type of permanent supportive housing that includes some services. What you pay is based on your income. LTH Housing Support used to be called LTH Group Residential Housing (GRH). Learn more about Housing Support.

Contact Your Local Coordinated Entry Program

To get into the Coordinated Entry System, use HB101’s Homeless Services Map and follow these steps:

  1. Choose your county name from the menu or select it on the map.
  2. Contact the access point that helps people in your county who are in your situation. They will do an assessment and add you into the system if you qualify.
  3. Keep your contact information up-to-date, so that they can contact you if they find a place for you.

How long it takes to get a place depends on many factors. The Coordinated Entry System will try to find a place that meets your needs, but it may take a long time and you are not guaranteed to get a place.

You should also apply for other benefits that can help with housing, food, cash assistance, and medical coverage. Contact your county or tribal human services office to learn more about state benefits and to apply.

More Info

Get detailed information about Minnesota’s Coordinated Entry from:

More on Housing Benefits 101