The mission of the Front Door Program is to divert and or prevent homelessness when possible, reduce the amount of time homeless individuals and families spend on waitlists, as well as, place individuals and families with the most appropriate agency for their housing needs in the quickest and most cost-effective manner.
The Front Door Program works to best understand the true needs in our community for those experiencing homelessness by using real time data. It serves as a point of access for all participating services in the community including emergency shelter, transitional shelter, homeless prevention services, rapid re-housing services, permanent supportive housing, veteran related homeless service providers, coordination of domestic violence homelessness issues, and diversion from the system.
The goals of Front Door are:
- To end lengthy stays in homelessness for families and individuals
- Inform community funding decisions
- Eliminate duplication of services
- Best utilize precious financial and community resources while potentially providing leverage for new funding opportunities
Over the last two years, a collaboration aimed at uniting community leadership to implement a strategy for fast-tracking people in crisis to the best program to end their experience in homelessness has been hard at work. In April of 2016, the Flagstaff community enlisted the help of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) to provide technical assistance and homelessness system design to this collaboration of homeless service providers and community leaders.
With the recommendation to implement a coordinated entry process for those seeking assistance from the homeless service providers in the region, a Systems Design Steering Committee comprised of local service provider leadership, funding partners, and community support representation was formed to develop and implement coordinated entry. The System Design Steering Committee researched numerous different coordinated entry projects across the country and staffed dozens of meetings to ensure our group developed the best program for Flagstaff’s needs. Thus, the Front Door Coordinated Entry Project (Front Door), a community collaborate partnership, was developed.
Prior to January 2017 in Flagstaff, when a person or family was experiencing homelessness, they faced a gauntlet of confusing barriers to accessing services. To help eliminate these barriers, Front Door began initial operation in January 2017, with Community Development Block Grant funds providing operational support to both Flagstaff Shelter Services and Catholic Charities. Each entity now staffs a “Front Door” for those seeking services. Flagstaff Shelter Services serves individuals, and Catholic Charities serves families. Those seeking housing-related services can visit one of those two entities and be screened for all services provided across the Coconino County Continuum of Care. Additionally, Flagstaff Shelter Services and Catholic Charities staff a mobile team that provides services on a daily basis for those with transportation issues, physical disabilities or those experiencing domestic violence.
By The Numbers
- Ross Altenbaugh, Flagstaff Shelter Services
- Leah Bloom, City of Flagstaff
- Stephanie Boardman, Sunshine Rescue Mission
- Justyna Costa, City of Flagstaff
- Sarah Darr, City of Flagstaff
- Aileen Fitz, Northland Family Help Center
- Sandi Flores, Catholic Charities
- Norma Gallegos, Coconino County Community Services
- David Hirsch, GoodWill Industries
- Tom Issacson, VRC
- Lauren Lauder, Southwest Behavioral Services
- Heather Marcy, Northland Family Help Center
- Devonna McLaughlin, Housing Solutions
- Barb Mikkelsen, HCIC
- Steve Peru, United Way of Northern Arizona
- Camie Rasband, Catholic Charities
- Janet Regner, Coconino County Community Services
- Pats Shriver, Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff