CES Mini-Lab 2.0: A Roadmap to Transformation and Making Coordinated Entry More Equitable

Apply for your community to participate in CES Mini-Lab 2.0, where we will lead with racial equity explicitly, but not exclusively. Many groups have been historically minoritized and excluded – based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, geography, citizenship, income, education, etc. – but within those identities, there are inequities based on race. Racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception.
CES Mini Lab 2.0: Goals | Scope | Application | Questions

Application Deadline: August 9, 2024.

Goals of the CES Mini-Lab 2.0

Primary Goals
  1. Understand the core components of Coordinated Entry Systems (CES) from the perspectives of what people going through the system are experiencing. This will be achieved by participating in “a day in the life of” exercise.
  2. Identify and implement concrete actions available within CES to improve outcomes for all. This will be achieved by identifying areas where targeting is required to ensure equity for specific groups.
  3. Reduce disparate entries into homelessness. This will be achieved through coalition building across sectors and other systems of care.
Foundational Actions to Support Communities in Achieving Primary Goal

Contextualize CES (and the role of CES) within adjacent systems of care, specifically the relationship between CES and ‘feeder systems’ that contribute to racially/ethnically disparate entries into homelessness. Increase analytical capabilities to increase communities’ understanding of the origins of various inequities apparent in CES in relation to feeder systems.

Which systems are contributing to disparate entries into our CES?
  • What outcomes are different for different groups? (disaggregate data by race, gender, age, family status, disability status, etc.)
  • Where does CES directly (re)produce those inequities?
  • What ongoing evaluation practices does our CES need to continually identify and correct for inequities that emerge from our practices?
To what extent are those systems contributing to entries into our CES? (How many? What % of folks showing up at CE come from hospital, jail/prison, foster care, BH/SUD treatment programs, etc.)
  • Where are inequities in CES inflow mirrored by feeder systems?
  • What power dynamics perpetuate inequities in efforts to transform CES?
  • Where are inequities in other systems contributing to inequitable outcomes/exits from our system? (where are we failing to correct for inequities and target interventions appropriately within our system)
How are those systems contributing to entries into our CES?
  • What targeting do we need to embed within our CES to better address inequities apparent in Access, Assessment, Prioritization, and Referrals within our system?
  • What can we do to engage decision-makers in feeder systems to prevent unnecessary engagement with our CES?
  • Where should we target those feeder system efforts based on what we know about which systems are most impactfully contributing to entries into our CES and inequities in our CES?

Scope of the CES Mini-Lab 2.0


Up to 8 communities willing to commit to one year or more of peer-to-peer learning, direct training, and technical assistance. Communities must have previously participated in the Alliance’s CES Mini-Lab, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’)s CE Equity Initiative, or Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) cohorts. Communities will be grouped into smaller cohorts for peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

  • External Faculty:
    • Regina Cannon – Arc4Justice
    • Jamerson Watson – Liberation in Action
    • Michele Williams – Equity in Action
    • Darlene Matthews – Equity in Action
    • Lori Pampilo Harris – Wayfinders Consulting
  • The Alliance’s Capacity Building Team:
    • Josh Johnson
    • diiv sternman
    • Mary Frances Kenion
    • Malik Rivers
  • The Alliance’s Director of Lived Experience and Innovation
    • Albert Townsend

Recognizing that this work is long-term, continual, and requires continuity, this will begin as a one-year commitment and continue after that one year with an annual reassessment of purpose and needs of the participating communities.

Tentative Timeline Post Selection
  • Monthly one-hour virtual training- third Thursday 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. EST beginning in August, 2024.
  • Quarterly individual or small group – TBD
Peer-to-peer Learning
  • Monthly one-hour virtual training and meeting spaces to include topical training content and peer-to-peer discussion.
  • Quarterly tools or guidance developed by faculty to address common challenges or lessons learned emerging from monthly discussions.
    • Guided tour of tools and documents available throughout the field to support equitable changes to CES
    • Deep dives into implementation of guidance and lessons learned
Individual Training & Technical Assistance
  • Quarterly individual or small group technical assistance with one faculty supporting 1-2 similarly situated communities
  • Access to a dedicated platform for communicating with faculty and other communities between meetings/trainings. Use this platform to:
    • Access training materials and tools
    • Share progress updates (successes, struggles, & lessons learned) with the cohort
    • Ask questions and share expertise and ideas
    • Build relationships among this community of practice to continue learning from each other
  • Opportunity to share action steps and progress among cohort communities and to build and iterate upon each other’s successes.
    • Model policy language
    • Useable data tools
    • Adapted assessment practices
    • Strategies for engaging feeder system partners

Applying for the CES Mini-Lab 2.0

Prerequisites for Participation
Racial Equity Knowledge

Your CoC understands the foundational understanding of systemic racism, how it impacts housing instability/homelessness in systems, institutions, organizations, and interpersonally and is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to approach Coordinated Entry through a racial equity lens.

  • Readiness to apply this understanding to local level data, information, systems, practices, etc.
  • Willingness to take calculated risks, make mistakes publicly, and learn from them

Access to system level data including System Performance Measures (SPM) and ability to disaggregate by race/ethnicity (at minimum) and other characteristics (via Stella P).

  • Pull data ahead of initial engagement and continuously engage with data throughout the year
  • Share disaggregated data and data trends with faculty and other communities for learning, continuous quality improvement, and TA purposes. (There will be no sharing of Publicly Identifiable Information involved).
Decision-making Power

Have buy in from CoC leadership and access to levers of power to engage in change work at the system level.

  • Existing multi-disciplinary core team, including of people with lived expertise, to participate
    • CoC Leadership
    • HMIS Admin and/or data analyst
    • Current CE provider(s)
    • Champion(s) for change
  • Deep understanding of current CES

Be able to provide connections for different threads of work within the community related to equity, homelessness, housing, healthcare, or other intersecting issues by naming/share all other HUD and non-HUD TA providers or consultants you are engaged with throughout your system right now.

Expectation of participants
  • Commitment to changing CES towards racial equity throughout the cohort’s term and beyond.
    • Taking bold steps to transform the way you do business within your CES
    • Continually evaluating the impact on inequity and equity in system outcomes
    • Iterating and adapting based on successes and failures
  • Provide a copy of compensation policies for people with lived experience upon application for participation in the cohort. This must be actionable as of day 1 of cohort participation to ensure people with lived experience are a part of decision-making.
  • Participate in all scheduled sessions & out of session assignments/work.
  • Timeframe (up to 8 hours per month for 12 months)
  • Belief in change:
    • Set metrics for success
    • Commitment to measuring and adjusting practices based on metrics
  • Share out steps taken as you go into other forums provided by the Alliance.
Application Process

You will have one month to complete the application process. Communities will receive notifications regarding your selection status approximately three weeks after the August 9 deadline.

Please note: The application technology does not automatically save your application. You will need to complete the entire process before proceeding, or risk losing your answers. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to complete this application. You will be asked to provide two documents: compensation policies for people with lived experience and your CoC governance documents, including Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures. You will be asked to provide a link or upload the document. None of the information you share will be made public; it will be used to carefully consider your participation for the limited cohort.

Please reach out to minilab@naeh.org with any questions or concerns.