Mission and Purpose
The Grand Valley Coalition for the Homeless is a coalition of organizations and individuals who work to address the issue of homelessness in the Grand Valley through education, cooperation and joint efforts.
In addition, the Coalition serves as a local Continuum of Care for the Grand Valley.
Continuum of Care Organization
A local Continuum of Care organization is a prerequisite for a community to receive funding to help eliminate homelessness. The Grand Valley Coalition for the Homeless (CoC) was begun in response to this mandate when the local community began to receive HUD funding to address some of the needs listed below.
A CoC should address the specific needs of each homeless subpopulation:
- those experiencing chronic homelessness
- persons with serious mental illnesses
- persons with co-occuring diagnoses (these may include diagnoses of multiple physical disabilities or multiple mental disabilities or a combination of these two types)
- victims of domestic violence
Therefore, it is imperative that representatives from organizations addressing the needs of these populations are participants at the table.
Continuum of Care Components
A Continuum of Care system typically consists of six basic elements, as follows:
(a) A system of outreach, engagement and assessment for determining the needs and conditions of individuals or families who are homeless, and necessary support to identify, prioritize and respond to persons who are chronically homeless;
(b) Emergency shelters with appropriate supportive services to help ensure that homeless individuals and families receive adequate emergency shelter and referral to necessary service providers or housing search counselors;
(c) Rapid re-housing to help persons with lower barriers who are homeless successfully move to, and stay in, conventional housing units;
(d) Transitional housing with appropriate supportive services to help homeless individuals and families who need more assistance prepare to make the transition to permanent housing and independent living;
(e) Permanent housing, or permanent supportive housing, to help meet the long-term needs of homeless individuals and families; and
(f) Prevention strategies, which play an integral role in a community's plan to elimate homelessness by effectively intervening for persons at risk of homelessness or those being discharged from public systems- e.g. corrections, foster care, mental health and other institutions - so they do not enter the homeless system.