CHART (Community Homeless Assessment and Referral Team)
Launched in 2013, CHART is a service of the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness (LCCEH) that is operated by Tabor. It is Lancaster County’s coordinated assessment system that provides access to the LCCEH continuum of services for those experiencing homelessness or about to lose their housing. In other words, CHART is the ‘front door’ entrance to the homeless services system for all communities in Lancaster County, PA.
The United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center provides pre-screening by telephone and makes referrals refers those meeting the criteria to CHART. Those referred are contacted by a CHART staff member, usually in less than 24 hours, to arrange a time and place to conduct a standardized assessment, explore diversion options, and make referrals to appropriate programs and services. CHART collaborates closely with LCCEH staff and with LCCEH-related service providers, especially emergency shelters and rapid re-housing programs. In FY 15-16 CHART served 1,112 households.
CHART’s diversion work creates many benefits for consumers and also for the LCCEH system. Successful diversion helps a person or household who believed they had no options other than emergency shelter to find a way to stay out of shelter by identifying a safe and acceptable place to stay temporarily while they work to get back into permanent housing. This reduces the stress and trauma of a housing crisis for the household and usually shortens it. Diversion also reduces demand on the emergency shelter system. Typically, 20-25% of households are diverted from entering emergency shelter.
CHART staff do not provide case management or housing, rather they provide a brief intervention to assist households to identify and access resources and programs to help them end or prevent homelessness.