Program Highlight: CENS

Nov 3, 2020

What Are Coordinated Entry Navigation Services?

Coordinated Entry Navigation Services (CENS) help individuals who are homeless prepare to get housing. Our team ensures that once clients reach the top of the Coordinated Entry waitlist, they have the necessary documentation and paperwork to receive housing services. CENS also refers individuals to ongoing services that they may need to help them keep their housing, like health care or employment services.

CENS “allows for those experiencing high barriers to have access to support services while waiting for an opening in a local housing program,” says Angela, Program Manager.

Who Does CENS Help?

CENS helps people “that are homeless, unsheltered, or residing on the street and on the priority waitlist,” says Angela. The Coordinated Entry program sends Guild referrals, and then Case Managers connect with them. Typically, individuals referred to CENS are homeless and not connected to other providers.

What’s it Like Being a Part of the CENS Team?

“I would say that you may have a day planned, and it could change in the blink of an eye,” says Team Lead Robbin. The CENS team does a variety of tasks to meet clients’ needs. They communicate with a variety of people–including clients, county social workers, and providers–to ensure each client is prepared to receive housing services.

Jeria, a CENS Case Manager, says her daily tasks include “helping with county paperwork to ensure benefits are maintained, and looking into resources like food, clothing, temporary housing or shelter, treatment programs, or day to day supplies.”

“What I enjoy most is the client interaction. I enjoy getting to know our clients and being able to work with these individuals because I know opening up and trusting another individual is not always easy,” explains Jeria.

CENS staff see and support dignity in every client. “The clients we work with and individuals we see on a daily/weekly basis are people who had a life previously and ‘life happened to them,’” explains Robbin. “It makes you realize that these individuals were once like us (had a job, family, attended college), and then something happened.”

Program Manager Angela is proud because they have “created a space where, as a team, we can be open, honest, and free to talk, yet value each other’s opinions. I think that is what makes the CENS team so successful.”


Learn more about Coordinated Entry Navigation Services.