Minnesota Coordinated Entry Prioritization Assessment Tool Work Group Update
This eNews is being sent on behalf of the Coordinated Entry Prioritization Assistance Tool (CEPAT) Work Group. If you are interested in following the work of this group, subscribe to our monthly eNews for updates.
Recent Research on Racial Equity and VI-SPDAT
A new study, funded by Building Changes and implemented by C4 Innovations (C4), finds that the “VI-SPDAT unfairly favors white people over people of color, thereby perpetuating racial inequities within the homeless system. This study concludes that the VI-SPDAT tool is not equitably capturing vulnerabilities across racial groups, with people of color receiving overall lower prioritization scores than their white counterparts. The study found similar results for both single adults and families, although the pattern is stronger and more consistent among individuals.”
As C4 released the full report, many groups began discussing whether they should continue to use the VI-SPDAT and/or how they could make the coordinated entry (CE) tool/process “more firmly rooted in racial equity.” The CEPAT work group is assigned to evaluate the current Minnesota statewide CE tool (VI-SPDAT) and present recommendations to improve or replace the tool, so it is critical for Minnesota Housing to continue to evaluate the VI-SPDAT tool using a racial equity lens. Minnesota Housing will use feedback from stakeholders (the Minnesota Tribal Collaborative [MTC], CoCs, and the state) in its work and future decisions.
Technical Assistance Update and Next Steps
The Focus Strategies team began its work in Minnesota in March and is doing a deep dive in researching various tools and collecting targeted feedback from stakeholders. This includes 1) an assessment of the current CE system and tool, 2) engagement with stakeholders, including special populations (e.g. tribes, domestic violence victims, youth, veterans), and 3) researching alternative tools. The following outlines their expected timeline and more detailed steps. 
  1. Assessment of Minnesota’s current CEPAT and the process related to CE implementation, cultural sensitivity and trauma awareness:
    - January and February 2020: Review CE policies and procedures; review training materials; analyze CE/HMIS data  

  2. Engagement with stakeholders including special populations:
    - January and February 2020: Interview key stakeholders by email, video, or phone
    - March and April 2020: Host in-person focus group meetings

  3. Research alternative tools:
    - December 2019: Finalize research criteria and present initial recommendations for possibly eliminating some tools
    - January and February 2020: Continue to further pare down alternative tools and start pilot testing
    - March and April 2020: Develop final recommendations      
Engagement Opportunities for Stakeholders
In collaboration with the TA provider, the CEPAT work group will be engaging with CE stakeholders. This will include activities like focus groups or connecting with individuals who expressed in the CE survey an interest in being involved with the process. The work group will target membership recruitment among special sub-populations.  
CEPAT Work Group Members
  • Carla Solemn, West Central Continuum of Care
  • Ji-Young Choi, Minnesota Housing
  • Katherine Cross, Southeast Continuum of Care
  • Jay Vasek, Central Continuum of Care
  • Laura DeRosier, Hennepin County Continuum of Care OR Abby Guilford, Suburban Metro Area County of Care (alternate based on schedules)
  • Kelly Looby, Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Mary Riegert, Minnesota Tribal Collaborative
  • Emily Salvaterra, Institute for Community Alliances (ICA)
  • Tammy Moreland, Minnesota Tribal Collaborative
The work group meets on the first Mondays from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. and third Mondays from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at Minnesota Housing. If you are interested, you can attend either in person or by GoToMeeting. The meetings are open to the public. Contact Ji-Young Choi
if you have questions about the bi-monthly meetings. 

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