What is a Continuum of Care?
A Continuum of Care is a group of service providers in a particular geographic area who work together in a collaborative planning process to develop programs that address homelessness. Continuums can apply to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for McKinney-Vento funding to support these programs. Local agencies wishing to access these funds must do so through their Continuum’s annual CoC NOFA application process. Continuum of Care funds may be used for projects under five program components: Permanent Housing, Transitional Housing, Supportive Services, HMIS, and, in some limited cases, Homelessness Prevention.
The Maine Continuum of Care (MCOC) covers the entire State of Maine and supports projects throughout the region. The mission of the MCOC is to plan and coordinate an inclusive system that helps Maine people avoid or exit quickly from homelessness, and to address the underlying causes of homelessness. Applying for HUD CoC funding is one way to work toward that goal. The 2017 MCOC NOFA Application brought $12,932,975 to the state.
The Maine Continuum of Care has open membership for all individuals and/or organizations within the State of Maine that have an interest in, and subscribe to, the mission and policies of the MCOC and who, through their participation, will contribute to MCOC’s ability to carry out its mission. Membership is free and is open to the public. There are usually about 30 different organizations represented at any given meeting, ranging from state government agencies to small non-profit grassroots groups.
Each member of the MCOC is a vital link in a collaborative community network, and as such, shares in ideas, concerns and decisions regarding the development, and deployment of resources to address the needs of people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. Organizations that receive CoC or ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) funding are expected to be members in good standing of their local Continuum of Care in order to continue to be eligible for funding. To be in good standing, and eligible to vote at MCOC, an organization must have been represented during at least 6 of the previous 12 regular meetings.
The Maine Continuum of Care meets regularly on the third Thursday of each month from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Because MCOC is a statewide entity and wants to encourage and support participation from all areas of the state, meetings utilize a video teleconferencing system to connect up to seven different meeting sites, located at MaineHousing and at several Public Libraries. There is also a phone in option for those not able to travel to one of the teleconferencing locations.
Please visit www.mainehomelessplanning.org where you will more information about MCOC and other topics related to homelessness in Maine. We encourage everyone to subscribe this site (by simply providing an email address) in order to receive automatic notices whenever new information is made available, such as meeting reminders, agendas, minutes, and other materials. There are currently more than 1600 subscribers!
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact: Scott Tibbitts, CoC Planning & Grants Coordinator Email Me
- HUD Continuum of Care Information
- MCOC Structure
- The MCOC Governance outlines the rules and processes the group has agreed to follow in order to function as smoothly and effectively as possible.
- MCOC relies on a number of committees to focus on particular tasks, topics, or populations. Detailed descriptions of each standing committee are included in the MCOC Governance
- CoC Board of Directors
- The efforts of the MCOC are overseen and guided by our Board of Directors.
- Collaborative Applicant
- HUD requires that each Continuum of Care appoint a Collaborative Applicant to organize, assemble, and submit all the various components of the annual NOFA Application, including Project level and Continuum wide level information, on behalf of the Continuum. MCOC has approved MaineHousing to fulfill this role. In addition to the work directly related to the application process, MaineHousing provides ongoing clerical, administrative, and logistical support to MCOC.
- Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
- Each year HUD releases a Continuum of Care NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability).
- The NOFA consists of a series of questions about local efforts to address homelessness.
- MCOC works hard to respond to the questions with data and narratives detailing our efforts.
- Projects that receive ongoing renewal funding through the Continuum must also submit Applications.
- If there is funding available, MCOC will issue a request for new Project proposals.
- CoC and Project level applications are combined and submitted to HUD.
- More information can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/coc/ and will be posted on www.mainehomelessplanning.org
- The most recent MCOC NOFA Application can be found here
- Previous years applications can be found below