About the CoC: A Continuum of Care (CoC) is an organization responsible for local, regional, or, in the case of Montana, statewide coordination of housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists four essential components of a Continuum of Care:
- Outreach and Assessment to determine needs of the homeless population;
- Emergency Shelter (ES) as a safe alternative for individuals and families;
- Transitional Housing (TH) w/supportive services for successful permanent housing;
- Permanent Housing (PH) and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to help individuals and families meet their needs and remain housed.
The CoC is also responsible for conducting a Point-in-Time count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless across the state, along with reporting to HUD on the housing inventory, which is the number of all types of beds in the statewide homeless system.
Read more > HUD Continuum of Care 101
Montana Continuum of Care Coalition (MT CoC)
The purpose of the Montana CoC is to end homelessness in Montana through effective leadership and collaboration between active and engaged participants who include:
- non-profit homeless assistance and victim service providers
- faith-based groups
- city, county, and state government agencies
- public housing agencies
- school districts
- mental health agencies and hospitals
- affordable housing developers
- law enforcement
- organizations that serve veterans
- currently and formerly homeless individuals
The Montana statewide CoC is made up of 12 local districts:
Primary functions of the MT CoC Coalition include:
- coordinating implementation of a statewide housing and service system.
- outreach, engagement, assessment, and prevention strategies.
- conducting annual analysis of needs and services available in Montana.
- participating in the Consolidated Plan within the CoC geographic area.
- consulting, reporting, and evaluation for Emergency Solutions Grant.
The Montana CoC also:
- administers and facilitates a collaborative process for HUD grant applications.
- establish priorities for funding projects.
- measures overall performance of the system.
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
HUD requires CoCs to maintain HMIS systems to collect and report data on individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The CoC’s HMIS responsibilities include:
- designating HMIS Lead to manage HMIS.
- facilitating consistent participation of grant recipients and subrecipients in HMIS.
- ensuring HMIS compliance.
Read More > HUD guidelines on HMIS