Alliance for Housing CoC COVID - 19 Community Page

A PDF version of shelter referral guide 


A PDF version of this page 

Highlights of CoC System Changes

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, temporary changes have been made to Coordinated Entry. Our intention is to give agencies flexibility to lower barriers in order to respond to this crisis, while ensuring the safety of staff and households they serve.

Waiver Opportunities for CoC Programs


Most recent: On June 30, 2021 HUD released guidance on available waivers.

  • On March 31, 2021 HUD released guidance on available waivers.

  • On December 30, 2020, HUD released guidance on available waivers. This memorandum extends to March 31, 2021 select waivers from these earlier waivers set to expire on December 31, 2020.

  • On Wednesday, April 1, HUD released guidance on available waivers.

  • On May 20th HUD released waivers.

  • On October 2, 2020 HUD released the following waivers  to provide flexibility for CoC Programs in light of the challenges presented by COVID-19.


Please also note the following things: 

  • The waivers are intended to reduce burdens on clients and staff and expedite moving people into housing as quickly as possible.

  • If your agency would like to utilize these waivers, you must notify HUD of your intent to do so at least two calendar days prior to using the waiver. You do not need to get HUD’s approval, but you do need to give them a two-day notice of your intent.

  • Notification of intent to utilize a waiver must be submitted by the grantee (i.e., your agency). It is not something the CoC can submit on behalf of all providers.

  • The notification must be sent to Please cc  on any waivers you submit.

  • It is recommended your agency submits for these waivers, even if it is currently unknown the extent to which they will be needed. Doing so will provide more flexibility across programs and across our CoC.

Coordinated Entry

Our agencies continue to operate by amending their service delivery practices that are aligned with the governor and CDC mitigation strategies. The HARA and community agencies are working remotely to answer housing emergency questions. The CoC continues to operate with a ‘no wrong door’ approach for potential program participants to be able to access services. Click HERE for a flyer that contains phone numbers for Oakland County Resources.

In-Person Navigation and Case Management Suspended

Ceased face to face navigation/case management activities – still engaging with clients over the phone and through other means, such as email.


Referral Process for Shelter and Congregate Care


Referral for Lighthouse:

Lighthouse serves families and individuals. If looking for shelter call (248) 920-6000x5500.

People do not need to have a COVID-19 test before being admitted into shelter. However, please have them call for an intake first so that they can be screened and have a room requested. If able, the screening/intake will take place on the same day as the call. If possible please have people call Mon-Fri at 10am for shelter inquiries.

Referral for HOPE:

HOPE accepts intakes 7 days a week. While HOPE does take walk-ins, it is requested that you call 248 499 7345 and ask for Carolyn or Kim (Monday through Friday) or Karen or Todd (on the weekends) if you are making a referral. (Please provide HOPE staff with the full name or HMIS# of the individual being referred). If the individual seeking shelter is making the call, please make sure that the individual has the ability to leave a call back number in case the shelter staff is on the other line. If the person being referred is not in the Pontiac area and is known to be COVID-19 positive, please call Carolyn first to determine the best way to complete the intake and get the individual to the non-congregate shelter.


All prospective guests must be age 18 or older.

Intakes at HOPE:

While HOPE accepts adults for shelter no matter the COVID-19 status, the congregate shelter can only accept those who are COVID-19 negative. Individuals presenting for shelter at the Baldwin site should have a negative COVID-19 test that is not more than 24 hours old. Potential service recipients can secure a COVID-19 test at a hospital emergency room and bring the results to the shelter.

Screening and intake are done in the shelter parking lot. Guests will also have their temperature taken and be asked questions about health and prior living setting. Guests with positive COVID-19 test results, or those recently exposed to COVID-19 will be sent to a non-congregate setting.

SMART buses are free during the pandemic but running on a reduced schedule. If an individual is coming to the HOPE Adult Shelter at 249 Baldwin, they can get the 753 Baldwin Ave SMART bus at the Phoenix Center in Pontiac and exit the bus at Virginia St and Baldwin.

Screen for HAVEN, a domestic violence shelter:

Staff is available and answering the crisis support line. 24-HR CRISIS & SUPPORT: 248-334-1274; TOLL-FREE CRISIS LINE 877-922-1274


If referring agency is able to send clients to shelter: LYFT is willing to transport those with masks & gloves.

Do not send anyone who has a high fever, cough, difficulty breathing via LYFT – send to the hospital via 911/EMS.


Prioritization Process

Changes to coordinated entry prioritization to support and respond to COVID-19.

Prioritization criteria:

  1. Unsheltered

  2. Congregate/non-congregate shelter

  3. RRH

  4. Prevention

  5. Security deposits

Timeframes for RRH and prevention

MSHDA/ESG- 9 month total Prevention - allowing for up to six months back and 3 months forward, can be in any format but Prevention assistance can only be for 9 months. *Court summons, order or judgement is required for Prevention services.*

  • OC ESG- 12 month total (could be 6 month rental arrearage and 6 month rent assistance)

  • HUD RRH- 12 month programs can extend to 24 if needed.

Referrals to Registry

Agencies are to still complete regular HMIS entry with VI’s, however additional HMIS questions will be incorporated for RRH prioritization. Using the added factors will help us prioritize, however we will still have discussion about specific cases that should be ‘moved up’ on the Prioritized Housing Registry.

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