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A homeless man is seated at a shelter table. Picture used by permission- Open Doors.

The primary goal of the Continuum of Care is to end homelessness.

The Western Continuum of Care (CoC) is a funding and planning approach that helps communities provide prevention, emergency, transitional, and permanent housing, and other services to address homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that all communities establish a CoC. Participants can include nonprofit organizations, businesses, local and state government departments, schools, hospitals, community members, and many more. The primary goal of the CoC is to end homelessness

The Continuum’s region comprises six counties and two cities. The area is partially urban and predominantly rural. Rural homelessness can be an outwardly invisible problem in a community. People sleep in tents, abandoned farm buildings, cars, and other places that can blend into the countryside in rural locations.

The CoC funds partner agencies who offer shelter, homeless prevention, rapid rehousing for homeless households, permanent supportive housing and street outreach. The continuum of care also funds a central housing intake hotline that is the service referral hub of the CoC. The intake staff assesses callers and routes them to the appropriate housing provider. Last year, the CoC placed over 300 persons into permanent housing through rapid rehousing referred through centralized intake.

This CoC promotes a Housing First approach: priority is placed on getting someone into permanent housing as quickly as possible. When needed, the agency secures supportive services such as substance abuse treatment or mental health counseling.
To facilitate the collaborative work needed to address homelessness in our region, our CoC has formed multi agency committees who partner to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. You can learn more about our CoC structure if you follow this link here.


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