The Housing Navigation Service Bundle is a key component of services offered through Housing Resource Centers (HRCs). HRCs are the places in Alameda County where the major activities of the Coordinated Entry System happen. Coordinated Entry is a standardized method to connect people experiencing homelessness to the resources available in a community. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that every community operate a Coordinated Entry System that assesses and prioritizes people experiencing homelessness for programs and assistance within the region dedicated to meeting the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Housing navigators located at each of the Housing Resource Centers serve as advocates for homeless individuals throughout the housing process. Housing navigators provide a range of housing services that include:
- Tenant screening, assessment, and presenting housing options to the client;
- developing a housing support plan (using a countywide standardized plan template) to identify preferences and barriers to housing;
- searching for housing and assisting with applications and gathering required documentation; non-medical transportation to ensure access to housing options;
- identifying and securing resources for one-time move-in expenses;
- ensuring living environment is safe and ready for move-in;
- moving coordination; and
- establishing procedures and contacts to support housing retention in the community
The service bundle also includes helping the client access mainstream system resources (i.e. health care services, support applying for public benefits; etc.). Housing navigation follows a Critical Time Intervention (CTI) approach with an emphasis on developing community supports that can be sustained after the navigation services end.