System Planning and Coordination

In addition to contract management and service coordination in those core areas, DFSS staff leads and participates in cross-sector collaborative initiatives, system and policy coordination efforts, and data and governance initiatives.

Point in Time Count
One of the largest coordination efforts is the Point in Time (PIT). HUD requires communities to conduct a full sheltered and street count every other year. In 2013, DFSS began conducting annual counts to better account for changes in our system. DFSS leads the planning and execution of the PIT to ensure that the process follows the approved methodology and federal guidelines to execute a one night canvas and count of homeless persons in shelter and on the street. For additional information regarding the Point in Time Count, visit

Coordinated Entry
The Coordinated Entry System is designed to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to the service system, no matter where or when they present for services. A key feature is that it coordinates housing and homeless assistance to prioritize those with the most severe service needs. It requires that homeless residents or those who are at risk of homelessness, are quickly identified, assessed, referred, and connected to housing and homeless assistance based on their needs and strengths. Coordinated entry requires standardized tools and practices, incorporates a system-side Housing First approach, and focuses on participant choice to rapidly connect Chicagoans to housing. If you are in needs of a housing assessment, visit: for a list of Coordinated Entry System access points.