Homeless Prevention Coordinated Entry - Lakes & Prairies


Lakes & Prairies Community Action has been a long-time provider of homeless prevention services as well as a “place to go” to access services related to housing, community resources, and benefit assistance. In December of 2017, Lakes & Prairies teamed up with other homeless prevention providers in the Fargo-Moorhead area in an effort to make it easier for people to access homeless prevention services and to streamline referrals for service providers. As Moorhead, MN borders on Fargo, ND, collaboration across states is imperative to serving people at currently or at risk of homelessness. As a part of this project, the providers agreed upon a common application and homeless prevention tool in order to prioritize assistance. Lakes & Prairies has been an access point for all applications in Clay County, MN. Applications are then referred to partner agencies based on program capacity and type of assistance needed. Households are able to receive financial assistance and case management services based on need and connected with the agency that would best be able to provide assistance.

This type of systems change has fostered and relationships with other homeless prevention providers in our area and strengthened the diversion portion of the homeless response system. The change has also been positive for clients, now being able to access and receive services without needing to travel to numerous agencies and complete applications at each individual agency. Tracking data across agencies has allowed our community to better track trends, needs, and gaps in the system. From January to June of 2018, the project found that less than 3% of participants denied from the program entered shelter in Minnesota. Moving forward, the partner agencies hope to include more agencies in the process and continue to evaluate the system in order to move the needle on preventing and ending homelessness.

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