HISTORY OF CONTINUUM OF CARE
Prior to 1987, most funding for homeless programs was handled at the local level. With pressure on
Congress to address rising problems with homelessness, Congress approved the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act which provided funding for entities that serve the homeless population.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been encouraging communities to
address the problems of housing and homelessness in a coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic
fashion. 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.
Continuum of care is a HUD term that:
– Refers to a system of providing services to the homeless. The “continuum” of services includes
outreach and assessment, supportive services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent
supportive housing, permanent affordable housing, and community education and advocacy.
– Is a community plan to organize the deliver housing and supportive services to meet the specific
needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless as they move to stable housing and
maximum self-sufficiency. Action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return to homelessness are
– Supports competition for HUD Homeless Assistance grants culminating in a funding request
submitted to HUD for locally determined projects that address the causes and needs of the homeless.
All federal assistance dollars and matching funds go directly to the community for which they are
intended. Therefore, Continuum of Care funds work locally to provide jobs, sustain jobs, and
sustain residents in your community.
ILLINOIS CONTINUUMS OF CARE
Northwestern COC – 11 counties, 1997. Southern Illinois COC – 27 counties, 1993.
West Central Illinois COC – 11 counties, 1997. South-Central Illinois COC – 18 counties, 1999.
Heartland COC – 1 county, 1997. Peoria Area Homeless Consortium – 4 counties, 1995.
Central Illinois COC – 13 counties, 1999. Rockford/Winnebago/Boone COC – 2 counties, 1995.
Urbana/Champaign COC – 1 county, 1995. Homeless Action Council COC – 1 county, 1998.
Joliet/Will COC – 1 county, 1998. Decatur COC – 1 county, 1995.
City of DeKalb COC – 1 county, 1995. Madison County COC – 1 county, 1995.
McHenry County COC – 1 county, 1997. Lake County COC – 1 county, 1995.
Cook County COC – 1 county, 1997. City of Evanston COC – 1 county, 1995.
DuPage County COC – 1 county, 1995. City of Chicago COC – Chicago, 1995.
COC for Kane County, 1 county, 1999.
For more information go to the HUD website at www.hud.gov