Qualitative Case Study of the Coordinated Entry for All System in King County, WA
This case study is the first to examine the implementation of a coordinated entry (CE) system which Continuums of Care (CoCs) are using to prioritize housing resources for individuals experiencing homelessness. The coordinated entry system uses a standardized assessment of individuals’ vulnerability and service needs to appropriately match housing and support services. 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, WA. A qualitative analysis was conducted to examine how CE facilitates or creates barriers to housing individuals experiencing homelessness. The analysis found that there were benefits, but that the challenges and barriers generally outweighed the benefits, especially in terms of racial equity and equity for populations with other marginalized identities. The analysis also identified several ways in which King County, WA adapted to emerging concerns and provides recommendations for CE systems to consider. This study also highlights the importance of including lived experience in policy and program implementation and research.