March CES Scoop: How Coordinated Entry Navigation Services (CENS) works

CES Scoop - Hennepin CoC Coordinated Entry

Job Opportunity

Job Opportunity

Coordinated Entry Referral Coordinator

This position will communicate and work closely with CES assessors and housing providers to make quality housing referrals for people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. View full details here

How does Coordinated Entry Navigation Services (CENS) Work?

Some are confused about Coordinated Entry Navigation Services (CENS). These services are provided by Guild Services.

Here is a quick summary of how clients get referred to CENS, and the work they do:

Step 1 - The Coordinated Entry team identifies a household in need of navigation services by reviewing the Chronic Homelessness index. Then, refers them to CENS.

  • This is a client who is not connected to any other services or case management. 
  • The client also does not have a housing referral.

Step 2 - The CENS Team (Guild Services) helps the household:

  • Obtain the necessary documents to secure housing through Coordinated Entry.

  • Get connected to medical and mental health care.
  • Work through barriers preventing them from finding and keeping housing.
  • Apply for economic assistance, medical assistance, and social security as needed.
  • Find appropriate legal and employment resources.

Step 3 - Once CENS has helped the household with their housing barriers, they notify the Coordinated Entry Team.

  • Coordinated Entry offers this household the next available referral. 
  • CENS continues to work with the household until they are housed (when they have literally moved in).
  • CENS may work with clients at the same time as housing providers. Look at them as a helpful partner!

View a flyer with a helpful overview of CENS here.

Housing Providers


Referral Timelines While CES is Short-Staffed

Referral Timeline Expectations

Your patience is appreciated!

We are working to fill an open role for a Coordinated Entry Referral Coordinator. During this short-staffed time, it is still our goal to send referrals within 2 business days.

Sometimes it is a challange to meet this goal!


If we are unable to fill the referral request within 2 business days, we will let you know.

Thanks for your patience, and please spread the word about the open job opportunity!

Online Referral Request Form

Referral Request Form

Need a referral to your housing program?

Use our new Referral Request Form!

What Should I do in HMIS?

Step-by-Step HMIS Help


Do you struggle to follow all of the correct steps in HMIS?

If so, we created some new, intuitive guides to help! Check them out here.



Housing Resources Outside of Coordinated Entry

Housing Resources Outside of CES

Not every client is a good fit for CES. 

When this happens, here are some Housing Resources outside of CES where you can refer the client.

Upcoming Training


HMIS Training for Housing Providers: How to Track the Status of Referrals in HMIS

HMIS Training for Housing Providers

Date: Thursday, June 9th

Time: 11:00 am - 11:30 pm

View Description and Register here


HMIS Training for Assessors: Housing History

HMIS Training for Assessors

Date: Thursday, June 9th

Time: Noon - 12:30 pm

View Description and Register here


Coordinated Entry 101

Coordinated Entry 101

Date: Wednesday, June 8th

Time: 11:00 am - Noon

View Description and Register here.


Best Practices for Housing Providers

Best Practices for Housing Providers

Date: Tuesday, March 29th

Time: 10:00 am - Noon

View Description and Register here



Assessor Priority List Report

Priority List Report

What is the Assessor Priority List Report?

A monthly report that tracks the number of clients added to or updated on the priority list by each assessor. 

View the report here.


More System Data from February

  • Clients assessed or updated: 180
  • Referrals made to Families housing providers: 61
  • Referrals made to Single Adult housing providers: 200

Leadership Committee


Families Leadership Committee

The commitee last met on March 1, 2022. See what they discussed in these notes.

Staying outdoors, in a vehicle, or a place not meant for human habitation?

To get a housing assessment, call Matrix Housing Services at 612-283-2567. 

  • This phone is answered Wednesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • If the phone is not answered, leave a message and someone will return the call.
  • The caller will first answer questions to make sure they are eligible for coordinated entry.

If eligible, an assessment will get scheduled.

Assessments are scheduled on week days during regular business hours.