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.

Latest News

  • COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits Available
    The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is offering COVID-19 test kits designed to provide results within 30 mins to homeless service providers. These kits can be given to your clients as needed and can be used when they are feeling sick or if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  These test kits have everything needed to perform the test and can be performed anywhere.  The sample is self-collected by the client and… Continue Reading Home
  • Community Development Block Grant
    The Western Virginia Continuum of Care has received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to support housing in a non-congregate setting in the amount of $648,000. The CDBG funds usage is consistent with CHERP non-congregate programs. The Western Virginia Continuum of Care is accepting CDBG funding request proposals. Applicants must fill the CDBG funds application form below and return it by July 16, 2021.  The proposal must include program guidelines, description of supportive… Continue Reading Home
  • Client Engagement Survey
    H.B. 854 Statewide Housing Study During the 2020 Session, House Bill 854 passed. Over the past 9 months, the H.B. 854 Stakeholder Advisory Group has convened to discuss affordable housing across the Commonwealth of Virginia. VHA, Virginia Housing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development would like to hear from those most impacted in the community. Please share circulate this survey among providers in your community to get input from the persons… Continue Reading Home
  • Potential Provider for High Needs Support Program
    The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) recently  received federal approval to offer housing and employment support services for Medicaid members who have significant behavioral and physical health needs through the High Needs Supports (HNS) program.  The approved benefit will create a statewide supportive housing program that builds on the existing programs and partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development,… Continue Reading Home
  • Community Events and Announcements
    Tenant Town Hall Date: June 2, 2021 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Zoom https://vplc.salsalabs.org/shenandoahtownhall/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1dT_I7BjcQo8HaN8y5_0UXBq4fbSAZriJbZzxagn9rkk007uAGcJsxU7c Join the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) and Blue Ridge Legal Services (BRLS) for a virtual town hall for tenants and service providers who work with tenants. During the virtual meeting, we will focus on tenant issues in your region of the state and go over new Virginia laws on how to avoid eviction. Following the overview of Virginia evictions… Continue Reading Home
  • Housing Coalition of the Northern Shenandoah Valley is hosting a housing summit. Register here:
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $2.5 billion to renew support to thousands of local homeless assistance programs across the nation. This Non-competitive Funding Notice establishes the funding criteria for the FY 2020 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. HUD is making available approximately $2.5 billion through a non-competitive process to distribute Fiscal Year 2020 appropriated funds to CoC grant recipients whose current grants expire in Calendar Year 2021. The… Continue Reading Home
  • VDH link to register for COVID vaccination
    People living in homeless shelters are at increased risk because homeless services are often provided in congregate settings, which could facilitate the spread of infection. Because many people who are homeless are older adults or have underlying medical conditions, they may also be at increased risk for severe illness. Those living in homeless shelters and homeless shelter workers will receive the vaccine through the local health departments. Please register here: COVID-19 Vaccine – Virginia COVID-19… Continue Reading Home