Chicago Coordinated Entry System Refinement Lab Report

In a coordinated entry system (CES), all providers of homeless housing and services in the community work together to ensure that from the moment a household first presents a housing crisis, there is a clear and consistent path towards ending their homelessness. A successful CES creates system change that shifts the focus of housing and service providers within the system from a strategy that says “Should we accept this household into our program?” to one that says “What housing /service assistance is best for each household to quickly and effectively end their housing crisis permanently?” Ultimately, the goals of a CES are to simplify access to housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, prioritize the most vulnerable households for the most intensive (expensive) housing/service resources, and improve overall system efficiency.

The Chicago Coordinated Entry Refinement Lab Report was crafted by CSH following a full day session with 90 stakeholders to learn from the community in order to continue to refine this Coordinated Entry system.


CSH Receives $50,000 from Central Indiana Community Foundation

Earlier this spring, The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), announced the allocation of $2,007,580 to not-for-profit organizations that work in Marion County, Indiana. These recent grants support 40 initiatives related to access to transportation, housing, healthy youth, education, arts and culture, and workplace opportunities for people with disabilities.

CSH is grateful to be a recipient of one of these grants. Our Indiana team has earmarked the $50,000 we received from CICF to help deploy our expertise in developing high-quality supportive housing in Indianapolis.

This effort will align with Indy Mayor Joe Hogsett’s call to find housing for 400 homeless individuals as quickly as possible.

Mayor Hogsett has committed his administration to providing 400 more homeless residents with permanent affordable housing, something that CSH and other advocates have demonstrated there is need for throughout Indianapolis.

“If our intent is to foster the well-being of all people, we cannot continue to walk past our most vulnerable neighbors,” Mayor Hogsett said when announcing the goal. “When reported numbers indicate an increase in homelessness from one year to the next, it is time for a community-wide call to action.”

Does Illinois Like Supportive Housing? Yes!

Ever wonder what those in supportive housing truly think of it?

CSH, as the contracted entity, has been granted permission by The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health to post a report codifying nine separate Focus Forums held in Illinois with persons who have been given a chance to leave Nursing Facilities (NF), Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMDs) and Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRF’s) for their own apartments with access to mental health support teams as needed. These Forums, opened to every William’s Class Member, provided an outlet to talk about their experiences and how supportive housing works for them. (The William’s Consent Decree is an Olmstead class action lawsuit requiring the state to offer additional residential alternatives to an institution.)

The group of residents that attended the meetings talked about how much better their lives are now than when they were in institutions. They enjoy their new-found freedom; a better selection of food they can choose; a chance at employment or college; and the ability to live like everyone else.

The Forums were held as far north as Zion and as far south as Peoria, close to their homes, service providers, and the peer run drop-in centers that are central meeting places for those that live in apartments scattered nearby. Residents often use these centers as meeting places when they need to or want to check in.

The Focus Forums were offered as another opportunity for residents to discuss how their more independent living is working for them. An extensive written survey to all residents is still being compiled and will be released soon.

At several sites, staff and residents used the Focus Forums as a chance to get together and have snacks, and celebrate what is a model program for the nation.

Find the Focus Forums report here, inclusive of photographs of Class Members, staff support and CSH facilitators.

Reports from prior years can be accessed by clicking the links below:

2017 Report

2016 Report

2015 Report

2014 Report

2013 Report

New Director in Texas

Brigid DeLoach, CSH Director, Texas

CSH is pleased to announce that Brigid DeLoach has been chosen as Director to lead our extensive work in the State of Texas. She has an extensive background in building social and economic mobility for vulnerable, underserved populations.

Prior to joining CSH, Ms. DeLoach served as a member of the executive leadership team for Urban Strategies overseeing the creation of thriving, urban mixed-income housing projects in distressed urban core neighborhoods within the Southern Region of the United States by developing a network of community support systems that delivered services and long-term positive outcomes to low-income residents.

Ms. DeLoach has also served as Executive Director of two non-profit organizations, the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana, where she provided overall strategic and operational oversight of staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. With a passion for building the capacity of individuals and organizations, Ms. DeLoach has devoted 10 years to developing and implementing programs that provide education and counsel to emerging minority-owned businesses increasing their ability to successfully compete in today’s market. She has managed technical assistance programs for the National Urban League, Seedco Financial Services and the Louisiana Department of Transportation. Combining her experience in technical assistance, desire for social change and business entrepreneurial spirit, Ms. DeLoach successfully ran her own consulting business focused on building the capacity of nonprofit organizations to improve their ability to deliver high-quality services.

Ms. DeLoach earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with a Concentration in Speech Communication from Louisiana State University. She has received several professional awards for her efforts to develop innovative programming that increase access to critical services for the disadvantaged and disabled. Ms. DeLoach participates in civic clubs focused on assisting families in need and continues her dedication to developing capable leaders and businesses by mentoring young entrepreneurs through her work with business schools at local universities.

For more information on CSH, visit and

SpeakUp! Graduate Brenda Shares Her Powerful Story

Brenda proudly worked as a realtor in Chicago and the Western Suburbs for eleven years. During that time she helped many first-time buyers find the home of their dreams and enjoyed helping people make decisions that were good for them and their families.

In 2006, she felt overwhelmed and Brenda walked away from everything she knew, including her housing, and began sleeping on commuter trains as she drifted toward greater uncertainty in her life. While on the train, a police officer noticed her and brought Brenda to Madden Mental Health Hospital where she was engaged by an outreach worker from Thresholds. The staff member asked what she needed and Brenda shared that she hoped for housing and an income since she had lost everything. After a short stay at Madden, Brenda moved into a transitional housing program and three months later into a supportive housing apartment operated by Thresholds in Rowan Trees Apartments.

CSH SpeakUp! Advocate Brenda

While in Rowan Trees, Brenda participated in a support group and worked with a counselor on a self-guided path towards recovery. She tells it this way, “it was very helpful to have someone to talk to about what happened to me, and to process these events for myself and with the caring of others.”

Brenda explains that “Thresholds was supportive in every way. I may not have enough money in my pocket to financially help others though I want to help by fundraising for resources for people facing homelessness.”

One area of great importance to Brenda is changing the public perception regarding homelessness. “I want people to know that when someone is experiencing homelessness, something happened in their life that lead to this,” she said. “It is not because they are lazy; some kind of tragedy or trauma often leads to homelessness.”

In 2012 Brenda moved on from supportive housing and currently lives in another affordable unit on the West Side, not far from where she grew up. She recently graduated from CSHSpeakUp! and now tells her story as an advocate for more supportive housing, and to help others not feel alone in their struggles.

Brenda is an inspiration to all who meet her, and CSH salutes her for her courage in sharing such a powerful story of recovery.


Indianapolis Integrated Supportive Housing Initiative

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), in partnership with the City of Indianapolis, has released two Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Indianapolis Integrated Supportive Housing Initiative.  Through new construction and rehabilitation of existing structures, the new initiative will create 500 units of affordable housing. 

The RFQs, which were released July 28, 2017, seek four development teams and one community-based development organization to participate. Responses for both RFQs are due by August 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Upon selection, the teams will participate in a three-day learning workshop to develop project concepts alongside IHCDA, the City of Indianapolis, CSH and the Coalition for Homelessness & Prevention (CHIP).

Access the full RFQ for developers by clicking here. Access the full RFQ for a community-based development organization by clicking here.

Chicago Houses over 3150 Veterans

The Chicago Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative includes the City of Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, HUD, Chicago Housing Authority, All Chicago, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Grant and Per Diem, Supportive Housing, Outreach, and a host of additional partners facilitated by CSH.

This cohort has collectively housed over 3150 Veterans since our formation in late 2014. Currently, the One List (by name registry) has under 580 Veterans to be housed and efforts are under way to reach functional zero as quickly as possible.

This initiative has served as a pilot for collaboration and coordination, and the lessons learned have led to enhancements to our Chicago Coordinated Entry System (CES). For example, Housing System Navigators who are outreach professionals assisting vulnerable households connect with permanent housing providers are part of the overall Chicago CES due to their success in the Veteran Initiative. The CES is rolling out with the inclusion of youth and single adults in May, 2017. Families will be added between July and August of 2017.

The Chicago Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative Community Team meets the second and fourth Friday of every month at 10 S. Kedzie in room 205 at 9:00am. The Team reviews progress and discusses strategies to align resources to meet the needs of Veterans facing homelessness. Please e-mail for additional information or to get involved.


Subcontracting Opportunity: Survey Data Entry

CSH is seeking a subcontractor to complete data entry for quality surveys.  Subcontractor must be certified with CMS’ Business Enterprise Program (BEP).

Planned activities:

  1. Receive training on the survey tool and data entry expectations.
  2. Using the provided database, complete data entry for quality surveys. Subcontractor will be responsible for accurate and timely data entry for quantitate and qualitative data points from a 80 question survey.
  3. Ensure any questions are brought to CSH contact person for clarification.
  4. Ensure all data entry is complete, accurate, and consistent. If errors are discovered by CSH, the subcontractor will be responsible for correcting all errors and any costs incurred through correcting data entry errors.

Expected Outcomes, Milestones, and Deliverables:

Deliverable 1: Complete and accurate data entry for qualitative and quantitative data points from a quality survey.

Deliverable 2: Return all original surveys to CSH along with the final completed database.

Funding Available:

An amount not to exceed $4,000 is available for this project.

Application Process and Vendor Requirements:

To apply for this opportunity email your interest to Julie Nelson at before April 24, 2017. Applications will be accepted from vendors who are in the process of certifying with the Business Enterprise Program (BEP).

Applications received before the deadline will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated successful performance of substantially similar work
  • Relevant project work
  • Experience and expertise
  • Years of relevant experience
  • Rate reasonableness and overall cost of services
  • Special consideration will be given to small, disadvantaged, minority or women-owned businesses

Please note that CSH requires subcontractors, including individuals and sole proprietors, to carry workers’ compensation insurance while performing work under a CSH subcontract.  CSH subcontractors cannot have existing, pending or expired debarments that preclude them from doing business with the United States government and cannot have convictions for, nor have any pending indictments for, fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a public contract or subcontract.

Making Homes That Work!

CSH and the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities will host three forums on March 22 and 23 with renowned architect George Braddock. The sessions will be facilitated by Metro Chicago-area architect Chris Turley.

George pioneered the implementation of person-centered planning of homes for people with disabilities. In his 25 years as a licensed general contractor and housing consultant, he has been involved in more than 1,500 projects guided by these principles. George established Creative Housing Solutions, LLC, so the knowledge and expertise gained from his work would be utilized elsewhere and continue to be improved upon.

Each session will focus on the critical role physical environment plays supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently in their own homes and fully integrated into their communities.

Flyer and Registration

Please click here to view the flyer for these events.

Click here to register for one of these three events.

Event Information

March 22, Noon – 2:00 pm

IIT – Crown Hall, 3360 S. State Street, Chicago, IL

March 22, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Mayer Kaplan JCC Auditorium, 5050 Church Street, Skokie, IL

March 23, 9:30AM – Noon

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington Street, Naperville, IL

CEUs Approval Pending

Missouri Supportive Housing Institute Application Deadline Extended

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Application Deadline Extended: Apply by COB February 24

CSH: The Source for Housing Solutions is excited to announce the second Missouri Supportive Housing Institute in collaboration with its sponsors, Missouri Foundation for Health, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Teams working to develop supportive housing in Missouri are invited to apply to attend the Institute, which will meet monthly in Jefferson City between March and June in 2017. Selected teams will work together to develop a supportive housing project for their community. Consideration will be given to both integrated housing (with up to 25% of the housing set aside for supportive housing) and 100% supportive housing developments. The Institute is based on the CSH Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing, which strives to build the capacity of the supportive and affordable housing industries to create and operate high-quality, effective, and sustainable housing. Travel assistance to attend the Missouri Supportive Housing Institute will be available to teams selected to participate.
Click here to read the Request for Applications and to find out more about the Institute Benefits and Deliverables, Target Populations, Curriculum and Meeting Dates, and most importantly the Application Instructions. 

To get a copy of the application for completion please click here. 

If you have questions, please submit them in writing to