Heartland Family Service and Together were selected as the lead agencies to develop a central access system for individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis through a competitive RFQ process initiated by MACCH and finalized in January 2012. In the months following the selection process, both agencies worked toward redeveloping the service delivery model, outlining a timeline for implementation and identifying staffing and financial resources. The name for the proposed central access program is Metro Home BASE (MHB).
The MHB strongly believes that the key to a successful coordinated access system is to develop one that best meets the needs of the individuals who will be accessing the system and the community of providers who the system will work to serve. For this reason a strong emphasis and a large amount of planning time has been placed on working with providers to identify how the MHB might best meet their needs. In order to solicit this feedback, the MHB has utilized a structured brainstorming process called compression planning. Heartland Family Service and Together facilitated a series of meetings with key stakeholders to obtain feedback and suggestions on the development of central access. The results of the compression planning meetings helped guide the development of a model, however MHB felt that more specific feedback was needed in several areas, so a forum was held to further develop the proposed model.
In a forum held on August 15, 2012, community providers, funders, and other interested stakeholders were asked to assess options for the Central Access model specific to the Access and Housing Referral portions of the model. With regard to Access to a central access points, there was not a clear consensus for one specific model. Feedback indicated that emergency shelters would like to have central access staff on-site to complete screenings, either through a combination of provider personnel and or phone access to MHB to conduct the initial assessment or Metro Home BASE personnel conducting initial assessment either on-site or via phone access from the shelter. The feedback regarding housing referrals provided a clear consensus for the use of a housing interest pool. Further details regarding both the Access and Housing Referral portions of the model are outlined below.