Since 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been encouraging communities to address the problems of housing for homeless in a coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic fashion. HUD introduced the Continuum of Care concept to support communities in this effort. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) codified the CoC planning process into law.
A Continuum of Care (CoC) is a collaborative funding and planning approach that helps communities plan for and provide, as necessary, a full range of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for homeless and other service resources to address the various needs of homeless persons. The Homeless Alliance of Western New York (HAWNY), is the Continuum of Care Lead Agency. The CoC lead agency is responsible for the coordination and oversight of the CoC planning efforts, and has the authority to certify and submit the CoC homeless assistance funding application. The CoC has grown significantly since its original inception.
In the summer of 2013 the Buffalo/Erie County CoC and the Niagara Falls/Niagara County CoC merged to form a regional CoC. Similarly, on April 1, 2015, the larger CoC saw an opportunity to serve the larger WNY community by merging with the Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties CoC and is now the Continuum of Care Lead for Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties (NY-508).
The major responsibilities of HAWNY as the CoC lead agency are to operate the CoC, to develop a strategic planning process that works toward the goal of ending homelessness in western NY and to coordinate the application process for the HUD Continuum of Care Program Competition.
For CoC questions, please contact Kexin Ma at [email protected].