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The Continuum of Care (CoC)

CoCs are critical stakeholders because they work with the homeless population regularly and best understand the population's most pressing needs.80

Funding flows from HUD to each CoC. Each CoC has a designated lead agency which then distributes funding among its providers in accordance with a plan approved by HUD. Each CoC is different and made up of various homelessness services providers such as rapid re-housing, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing providers in the CoC's designated region. The providers within each CoC are often those agencies that have the most contact with the homeless population and intimately understand their needs, gaps in services, and where to find them. CoCs may be organized at a number of geographic levels, including a single city, a city and surrounding county, a region or an entire state.

Funding flows from HUD to each CoC. Each CoC has a designated lead agency which then distributes funding among its providers in accordance with a plan approved by HUD. Each CoC is different and made up of various homelessness services providers such as rapid re-housing, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing providers in the CoC's designated region. The providers within each CoC are often those agencies that have the most contact with the homeless population and intimately understand their needs, gaps in services, and where to find them. CoCs may be organized at a number of geographic levels, including a single city, a city and surrounding county, a region or an entire state.

  • HUD created CoCs to hold entire communities accountable for addressing homelessness together in a coordinated, planned way.81
  • HUD requires CoCs to submit a single, consolidated funding application whereby each community can prioritize its needs and services to ensure alignment, effectiveness and strategic use of resources.
  • Each state has at least one CoC, as required by HUD. Some states have multiple CoCs arranged around urban centers or by region.
  • CoC providers are boots-on-the-ground service providers that interact with this population frequently—for example, by providing crisis services.
  • In 2015, CoCs throughout the country received roughly $1.9 billion in homelessness services assistance82 from HUD and collectively housed approximately 216,000 individuals83 in emergency, safe haven or transitional shelters.