A Coordinated Access System (CAS), sometimes called a Coordinated Entry System, is an essential element of any effort to prevent and end homelessness. These systems have been in place in the United States for several years and are being implemented in a growing number of Canadian communities. Coordinated access systems are designed to streamline the process for people experiencing homelessness to access the housing and support services needed to permanently end their homelessness.
By standardizing the intake and assessment process, sharing information in real-time within a community, adopting uniform prioritization policies and coordinating referral processes, coordinated access systems connect people to the right housing and supports as efficiently as possible based on their preferences and level of need. This ensures communities get the most out of limited resources and we can more rapidly and effectively prevent and end homelessness for those in greatest need.
A strong coordinated access system follows the principles of housing first and shares real-time data to facilitate the housing process.