Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Coordinated Assessment System Update


Department:Planning and Sustainability DepartmentSponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. CAT 2017-2018

Meeting History

Apr 16, 2018 3:00 PM  Housing Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Labrada distributed information regarding the Coordinated Assessment System and provided a housing development update and the Point-in-Time Count, a count of homeless and unsheltered people in Tompkins County.

Ms. Labrada said the Coordinated Assessment System is a federal mandate through Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to continue receiving funding through the Continuum of Care program. She explained that communities were required to implement a coordinated system that is used to identify, engage, and assess clients all in the same manner who are entering the homeless system. She said there is a standard tool most communities have been using nationally but Tompkins County developed its own assessment tool that reflects this community a little more appropriately. Clients are asked a series of questions and based on their answers they are given a score and based on that score a determination is made to their vulnerability and prioritizes their housing needs. There is a separate assessment tool used for homeless youth and clients between the ages of 16 and 24; they are provided a different set of questions to be scored differently.

Ms. Labrada referred to the statistics from 2017 provided in the information she distributed. She explained the process involved to place a client on a waiting list and said the list does not provide any additional housing to the area and just because a person is placed on a list based on the score they received when they were assessed, it does not guarantee them housing. She stated as of January 2018 the average wait time for an individual on the waiting list is 70 days. She said youth have a more difficult time accessing housing.

Ms. Labrada said a point-in-time (PIT) count was taken in January and it was determined that there were 46 individuals in Tompkins County identified as being homeless. The PIT is also a federal mandate that requires the County to survey the unsheltered population and take a snapshot of the sheltered population on one night a year.

Mr. Sigler inquired about the chronically homeless. Ms. Labrada stated the definition of chronically homeless is determined by HUD and the number is unduplicated. Mr. Sigler also asked if the Substance Use Recovery and Identified Mental Health Issue populations had a cross over between the two groups. Ms. Labrada stated there is a crossover and explained that they are identified in those categories to determine eligibility for specific programs.

Ms. Robertson asked if someone was in a shelter, were they counted as homeless. Ms. Labrada said they were.