Continuum of care going for the gold
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Continuum of Care: Going for the Gold. Charles W. Coley Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP) DHHS. Nebraska Continuum of Care Network. What exactly is a “Continuum of Care?”.

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Continuum of care going for the gold

Continuum of Care: Going for the Gold

Charles W. Coley

Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP)


Nebraska continuum of care network

Nebraska Continuum of Care Network

What exactly is a continuum of care

What exactly is a “Continuum of Care?”

Continuum of Care is a community and regional-based process that provides a comprehensive and coordinated housing and service delivery system

The process promotes a coordinated, strategic planning approach for programs that assist families and individuals who are homeless and near homeless

A Continuum of Care approach helps communities and regions strategically plan for and provide a balance of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing and service resources to address the needs of people who are homeless so they can make the critical transition from homelessness to jobs, independent living, and permanent housing

Seven Nebraska Continuum regions

Continuum of care

Continuum of Care

Continuum of care c0c history and structure

Continuum of Care (C0C): History and Structure

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiated the Continuum of Care process in 1994

Continuum of Care regions exist nationally and are vital to homeless/near homeless service delivery

In Nebraska, each of the seven Continuums has an acting chairperson and regional governance

Coc purpose collaboration and funding

CoC Purpose, Collaboration, and Funding

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a set of competitively-awarded programs created to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies

Other HUD formula funding streams also support the Continuum of Care process: ESG, HOPWA, etc.

The CoC structure mandates collaboration

Nebraska continuum of care network1

Nebraska Continuum of Care Network

Region I: Panhandle

Region II: North Central

Region III: Southwest

Region IV: Southeast

Region V: Northeast

Region VI: Lincoln

Region VII: Omaha

Nhap funding by coc region

NHAP Funding by CoC Region

Region I: Panhandle=$181,331

Region II: North Central=$285,992

Region III: Southwest=$271,353

Region IV: Southeast=$487,844 (Ardith’s region)

Region V: Region=$377,135

Region VI: Lincoln=$395,888

Region VII: Omaha=$580,000 (Erin’s region)

Nebraska coc network history and funding

The Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program was established after the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act passed in late 1986 and was signed into federal law July 22, 1987

DHHS NHAP funding=ESG+HSATF (Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund)

66 NHAP grantees statewide

State Continuum of Care Committee (a committee of the governor-appointed Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness, or NCHH)

Nebraska CoC Network: History and Funding

10 year plans to end homelessness

10-Year Plans to End Homelessness

  • Credit for the idea of a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness rests with the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C

  • The NAEH outlined the concept as part of a more ambitious plan, introduced in July 2000, to end homelessness altogether

  • The goal caught the attention of then-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Mel Martinez, who endorsed it in a keynote address at the NAEH’s 2001 conference

  • Now in 2010, HUD continues to emphasize the importance of 10-Year Plans

Nebraska s 10 year plan

Nebraska’s 10-Year Plan

  • In October of 2003, a cross-section of stakeholders from Nebraska attended a “Federal Policy Academy” in Denver, CO.

  • The Policy Academy was one of several in which all States eventually participated

  • The purpose of the Academy was to assist States in developing "10-Year Plans to End Chronic Homelessness."

  • Nebraska's resulting 10-Year Plan was titled Nebraska's Action Plan for Increasing Access to Mainstream Services for Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness

10 year plan successes

Nebraska's 10-Year Plan was unveiled in 2004 and was formally adopted by the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness

To ensured continued implementation of the 10-Year Plan, the Commission created a standing ad hoc committee titled the "Ad Hoc Committee on Ending Chronic Homelessness"

The Ad Hoc Committee's membership included State interagency personnel, nonprofit housing and homelessness prevention service providers, and representatives of various consumer demographics

10 Year Plan Successes

10 year plan successes1

10 Year Plan Successes

5 years down, 5 years to go: midway point

The Rental Assistance Program (RAP): rental vouchers for consumers with severe mental illness and extreme housing barriers

NIFA developed a database on affordable housing statewide, which was integrated into the system put in place by Assistive Technology Partnership (

Implementation of a common data system for all grantees (HMIS/ServicePointe)

Increased collaboration!!!!!

Ad hoc committee on ending chronic homelessness

Ad Hoc Committee on Ending Chronic Homelessness

  • Standing ‘ad hoc’ committee of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness ( both Erin and Ardith are Commissioners)

  • Future Ad Hoc Meetings: Participation needed and welcomed

  • 10-Year Plan only successful through sustained partnerships and collaboration

  • First meeting of 2010: March/April

Ad hoc committee

Ad Hoc Committee

Commission nchh and ad hoc

Commission (NCHH) and Ad Hoc

10 years plans a summary

10 Years Plans: A Summary

  • Part of a national model

  • Will be featured at upcoming NAEH conference

  • Best plans feature: outcomes (ex: units to be developed), funding expectations, and points of accountability (who will do what)

  • 10-Year Plans do NOT ‘just happen’ – they take work, commitment, and the “Living Document” mindset (incorporating HPRP, for example)

  • There is much more to be done, but despite these challenges, for the first time in two decades, communities have a plan and homelessness is a problem with a clear solution

Nebraska continuum of care network2

Nebraska Continuum of Care Network

Final thoughts

Final Thoughts


My contact information:

[email protected]

(402) 471-9200

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