Continuum of Care – A Housing and Services Funding for Homeless Families and Individuals

Continuum of Care is a program created by the US federal government aiming to provide necessary services for individuals or families that suffer from homelessness.

It primarily helps and supports those affected individuals to move into transitional and permanent housing.

With this, homeless individuals will have access to a decent, safe, and comfortable home and be able to maintain housing stability.

Moreover, the CoC Program is created to promote the strategic use of resources and community-wide planning to address homelessness throughout the United States.

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is created under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance  Act, As Amended by S. 896 Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.

It was passed into law last May 20, 2009, and continues to be implemented up to recently.

The said law consolidates three different housing assistance programs that are managed by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) into one program called the CoC.

The three programs are the following:

  • Supportive Housing Program
  • Shelter Plus Care Program
  • Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Program

Moreover, there’s a broad range of programs and projects that are funded by the  Continuum of Care (CoC) Program throughout the United States.

The type or kind of assistance programs, as well as the benefits and eligibility rules, will depend on the recipient or sub-recipient of the said program.

However, these assistance programs must be under the five primary components of the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program.

How does the Continuum of Care Program Work?

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program continues to achieve its goal to eradicate the  homelessness of individuals throughout the United States.

It primarily provides allocation  budgets for nonprofit providers, and state and local governments that implement home assistance program for individuals and families in need.

In the United States, there’s a wide variety of home assistance program that are funded by the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. These programs are continuously supporting and assisting homeless individuals and families.

Moreover, below are some of the objectives of the Continuum of Care Program:

  • Provide support for the rehouse homeless individuals and families while providing services to reduce the trauma and dislocation of affected individuals regarding homelessness.
  • Promote access to the mainstream program for homeless individuals and families.
  • Develop the self-sufficiency of individuals and families within homelessness.

Program components of the Continuum of Care

The funds from the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program are possible to be used for five different components of the said program.

These components are the primary programs under the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program that is continuously helping and assisting homeless individuals throughout the United States.

Permanent Housing (PH)

Permanent Housing (PH) is a community-based housing program that provides permanent housing units for homeless individuals or families.

The housing units within this component do not have a designated length of stay where beneficiaries can live independently.

However, applicants for PH must be a tenant on a lease with at least a one-year initial term, renewable, and terminable when there’s a cause only.

In addition, the said component is divided into two divisions, these are the following:

  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for individuals with disabilities – This program prioritizes those individuals with disabilities to gain housing stability. It provides homes with disabilities and a variety of housing services.
  • Rapid Re-housing (RRH) – This program provides relocation service, housing search, and short-medium rental assistance for homeless individuals or families to move into a permanent home.

Transitional Housing (TH)

Transitional Housing (TH) supports and assists homeless individuals or families to move and maintain permanent housing, and provide interim stability. It can cover up to 24 months of housing expenses including some selected services.

Applicants for the said program must have a lease or occupancy agreement within the place of transitional housing.

Supportive Services Only (SSO)

Supportive Services Only (SSO) provides funds for recipients to provide necessary services for homeless individuals or families that do not reside within the recipients housing program.

Recipients can use the funds to outreach homeless individuals or families, provide needed services, and support them.

There is a wide variety of SSO projects within different communities that are continuously assisting homeless individuals or families.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) funds may be used for the lease of structure operation.

Recipients for this component must incline their respective projects with another program component such as PH, TH, SSO, or HP.

Homelessness Prevention (HP)

Homelessness Prevention (HP) funds are used for the homeless assistance program to prevent individuals or families to suffer from the risk of homelessness.

This component may include stabilization services, housing relocation, and short-medium rental assistance that can be given to its beneficiaries to save them from the risk of homelessness.

With this component, individuals or families can maintain their housing stability and avoid various housing problems.

How to Apply for CoC?

Based on the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Interim Rule, nonprofit organizations,  public housing agencies, state and local governments, and instrumentalities of local governments are eligible for the said program.

However, applicants must be designated by the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program to apply for HUD grant funds.

In addition, you can visit your local HUD Field Office for more information and apply for the said program.

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