HUD Continuum of Care
Each year, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) solicits applications from communities to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness. This process, known as the Continuum of Care (CoC), facilitates grants designed to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies. Homeward manages the CoC grant application process for the Greater Richmond continuum, which includes the following localities: the city of Richmond, and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, Goochland, New Kent and Charles City.
Since 1994, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has encouraged communities to address the problems of housing and homelessness in a coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic fashion. With input from practitioners throughout the country, HUD introduced the Continuum of Care concept to support communities in this effort. This concept is designed to help communities develop the capacity to envision, organize, and plan comprehensive and long-term solutions to addressing the problem of homelessness in their community.
Homeward has taken this charge seriously and in 2007 led a regional effort to come up with a “Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region.” Our CoC is well established and maintains a good relationship with HUD.
Who can apply for these funds?
Eligible applicants include States, local governments, other government agencies (such as public housing agencies), private nonprofit organizations, and community mental health associations that are public nonprofit organizations.
Can CoC funds be used by faith-based agencies?
CoC funds are open to faith-based agencies that have IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status, however, funds can not be used to fund any program that requires religious attendance or adherence as part of the program.
What kinds of programs are eligible under this grant application?
For information about the eligible programs, visit the HUD's Homeless Assistance Program's website at HUD HREinfo.
Who can be served by these grant funds?
This program serves the needs of the homeless and chronically homeless as defined by HUD. Note that this definition may differ from the definition used by other agencies, mostly notably that of the Department of Education. The definition used by HUD specifically excludes people who are "doubled up" (living in shared accommodations) and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Who is homeless?
According to HUD, a person is considered homeless only when he/she lives
- on the street,
- in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g. cars, campsites, and abandoned buildings),
in an emergency shelter,
- in transitional or supportive housing (for people coming from streets or shelter), or
- in any of the above places prior to entering a hospital/institution for short-term (30 days or less).
A person is also considered homeless if he/she is being
- evicted within a week from a private dwelling, or
- discharged within a week from an institution where they stayed long term, 31 days or more, and a housing plan is not provided as part of discharge planning.
Who is chronically homeless?
A Chronically Homeless Person is an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR has had at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years. A disabling condition is defined as a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions. In defining the chronically homeless, the term ‘‘homeless’’ means a person sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) or in an emergency homeless shelter.
Applying for Funding
How does this application process work?
The formal application process begins with a well-produced application with supporting materials that are reviewed by our local Ranking Committee. Projects that are selected for funding will create an online application to HUD. The application process was made entirely electronic in 2008, with applications submitted through the HUD ESNAPS system. Once applications are ranked and submitted, HUD establishes a score for the community's application and selects projects for funding within communities that achieve a sufficient score.
For forms and information needed to submit a local application, please review the materials included in the CoC Downloads and Resources on the menu bar on the the right.