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Find out about Continuum of Care (CoC), Point-In-Time Censuses, Coordinated Entry, Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG), and more.

Homelessness 101

ARCH Acadiana Information

Your Resource for Local Data and Statistics, CoC Funding, ESG Funding, and More.

W

hat is a Continuum of Care? HUD developed the concept of the Continuum of Care (C0C) in 1995 through its annual competition for homelessness assistance grants. The CoC was envisioned as a local network that plans and coordinates funding for services and housing to assist homeless individuals and families.

ARCH is the CoC for eight parishes of Louisiana:  Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St.  Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion.

Public Information About ARCH Acadiana Programs and Funding

CoCs are tasked by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to track data on the homeless community in their area. These  Annual Point in Time counts provide an overview of the state of homelessness in a CoC, and offer the information necessary to redirect services, funding, and resources as necessary.

ARCH completes its Annual Point in Time count of people experiencing homelessness during the last week of January, in conjunction with its annual Homeless Connect resource fair.

Vulnerability Index

A survey of vulnerability is also performed during this count to rate those at most risk of losing their life on the streets.  This Vulnerability Index (VI) helps to identify those who are in the most urgent need of housing and medical services.

The information that is collected locally is compiled with other national PIT counts and is reported to Congress.

To view data about Point In Time Censuses from years past, click here. 

Check back throughout the year for updates from HUD on CoC Funding. We will post this information when it becomes available.

Check back throughout the year for updates from HUD on ESG Funding. We will post this information when it becomes available.

To access the ARCH Acadiana Basecamp for forms, click here.

A coordinated entry system is defined as a centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake, assessment, and provision of referrals.

ARCH adopted Coordinated Entry policies and procedures to govern the operation of this process in the Acadiana region. Contact ARCH Executive Director for current ARCH CE policies.

The ARCH coordinated entry system covers all eight parishes of the Homeless CoC, is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, is well advertised, and includes a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool known as the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT).

Why Coordinated Entry

ARCH’s primary goals for the coordinated entry process is that assistance be allocated as effectively as possible and that it be easily accessible no matter where or how people present.  Currently, Acadiana lacks the resources needed to meet all of the needs of people experiencing homelessness. This, combined with the lack of well-developed coordinated entry processes, can result in severe hardships for people experiencing homelessness. They often face long waiting times to receive assistance or are screened out of needed assistance. The ARCH coordinated entry process helps Acadiana prioritize assistance based on vulnerability and severity of service needs to ensure that people who need assistance the most can receive it in a timely manner. In addition, the coordinated entry process provides information about service needs and gaps to help ARCH plan future assistance and identify needed resources. You must attend an ARCH Coordinated Entry Training prior to participating in the assessment process.

Since December 2000, ARCH has utilized a homeless management information system (HMIS) called ServicePoint™ to connect all of the homeless providers in the region so client information and referrals can be exchanged electronically. An HMIS is an electronic data collection system that stores demographic and service information about persons who access the homeless services system in a Continuum of Care (CoC). The data collected by the HMIS can be used to understand the size, characteristics, and needs of the homeless population at the local, state, and national levels. ServicePoint™, created by Bowman Systems, is an intranet based SQL Database which has many capabilities including client management, shelter bed management, Information and Referral, and flexible reporting.

ARCH belongs to the statewide Louisiana State Network Data Consortium, LSNDC. As part of this statewide network, ARCH follows the polices and directions set by the LSNDC.  For more information about this statewide network, visit their website. http://www.lsndc.org

ARCH’s current HMIS Administrator is Catholic Services of Acadiana.  The HMIS team is tasked with administering and monitoring the ServicePoint implementation, training users and maintaining both data quality and adherence to Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) data standards.  The team consists of:

  • Andrew Zegura, ARCH System Administrator and LSNDC State System Administrator.
  • Elizabeth Lamond, HMIS Trainer and Resource Specialist
  • Alison Cruz, HMIS Data Analyst

Trainings
All users of ServicePoint must receive a New User training before gaining access to the system.  As well, personalized training is available for current users who will be entering in data for a new project or who need assistance with a particular type of client or workflow. To schedule this training,  contact Elizabeth in the HMIS Office.

As well, ARCH holds HMIS User Meetings every month except in December.  Usually, they are held at 10:30 am on the day of the ARCH General meeting, at that location.  If the day, time or location change, this will be noted in advance on the ServicePoint home page under Agency News.

  • Please note: all agencies entering data into ServicePoint MUST send at least one user to this meeting, who will be expected to share information with the agency’s other users.

Click here to see the ARCH Acadiana Tableau Page with all of our local stats and information about homelessness in Acadiana.