The Continuum of Care Program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiative that promotes the formation of community planning bodies to organize housing and services for homeless individuals and families. Every region of the United States and its territories has a Continuum of Care CoC as sanctioned by HUD. The Commission on Homelessness (CoH) for Volusia Flagler represents our designated CoC (HUD FL-504), and is the local planning body that coordinates funding for housing and services to homeless and at risk families and individuals for our region. Within this region are more than 100 organizations that provide some type of service to homeless and at risk families and individuals. The CoH oversees the allocation of community resources that provide for assistance and supports to agencies that directly service homeless persons during the transition to stable housing, with the aim of maximizing self-sufficiency and minimizing trauma.
From 2000 to 2014 the Volusia Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless served a dual role as both the Lead Agency / Collaborative Applicant for all HUD funded grants for the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Continuum of Care governing body. In July of 2014 a separate Continuum of Care for the Volusia/Flagler FL 504-CoC was created in accordance with HUD regulations, however, VFCCH retained its role as the Lead Agency/ Collaborative Applicant and HMIS Lead Agency for the then newly formed Volusia Flagler CoC (VFCoC) . In February 2016, the VFCoC Board of Directors approved a name change to the Commission on Homelessness in an effort to provide new direction and “begin the process of expanding the organization’s impact in ending homelessness in the two-county area.”
In its current capacity, the CoH is responsible for the governance, planning, and allocation of all funding for homeless services in our area. The Volusia Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless continues to provide assistance and guidance of the CoH in planning, coordinating, applying for federal, state and local funds, facilitate the ranking and review committee for this continuum, as well as implementing and monitoring services, activities and outcomes associated with not only the HUD CoC Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant competitions in accordance with the HEARTH Act and Interim Rule (CFR 24, part 78) but also other state and local funding.
The purpose of the Commission on Homelessness is to ensure that the following services are provided in the most efficient and comprehensive manner to homeless and at risk families:
- Outreach, intake and assessment (including the use of a Homeless Management Information System -HMIS) in order to identify service and housing needs and provide a link to the appropriate level of both;
- Emergency shelter to provide an immediate and safe alternative to sleeping on the streets;
- Transitional housing with supportive services to allow for the development of skills that will be needed once permanently housed; and
- Permanent housing and permanent supportive housing to provide individuals and families with an affordable place to live with services if needed.
For more information on the CoH, please visit www.vfcontinuum.org