What is a Continuum of Care?


What does it mean to be homeless?


A CoC is a collaborative 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.


According to HUD, an individual or family needs to fall in one of the four categories below to be meet its definition of "homeless". These are NOT eligibility criteria for assistance programs.

1) Individuals and families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; includes a subset for individuals who resided in an emergency shelter or a place not meant for human habitation and are exiting an institution where s/he temporarily resided.

2) Individuals and families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence.

3) Unaccompanied youth who are defined as homeless under other federal statutes who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition.

4) Individuals and families who are fleeing, or are attempting to flee, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individuals or a family member.

Learn about other HUD definitions here

There are individuals who do not meet the HUD definition of homeless, but still have an unstable housing situation. Perhaps they are sleeping on a friend's sofa, had a sudden change in finances and cannot pay rent next month, or live in a motel. These individuals might benefit from housing assistance. Please refer to Centralized Housing Intake to learn more. 


The Western Virginia Continuum of Care


The Western Virginia Continuum of Care (CoC) covers the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren, the towns within those counties, and the cities of Winchester and Harrisonburg. The official HUD-designated name of this CoC is VA-513.

The VA-513 identifies and implements strategies to prevent and end homelessness in the region.

This CoC promotes a Housing First approach, which means that priority is placed on getting someone into permanent housing as quickly as possible, and then supportive services, such as substance abuse treatment or mental health counseling, are offered as-needed.


Notice of Funding List and CoC FY2017 Grant Consolidated Application

After reviewing project applications, the CoC’s funding priority list for the FY2017 Competition is complete.  There were 3 applications for renewal projects and no applications for new projects.  The priority list  is as follows:




A rough draft of the Consolidated Application is available for your information and feedback here. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Alexandria Schweiger, CoC Coordinator, at aschweiger@nsvregion.org.