About the Northeast Minnesota Continuum of Care
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) provides homeless assistance grants to organizations that participate in local homeless assistance program planning networks. Each of these networks is called a Continuum of Care (CoC). There are ten CoCs across the State of Minnesota, including the Northeast Minnesota Continuum of Care.
About the NE CoC:
The Northeast Continuum of Care (NE COC) is a broad coalition of community partners that have been working, since 1997, to apply for and oversee HUD Homeless funding and to coordinate efforts to address homelessness in Northeast Minnesota and to meet the diverse needs of our local population.
The NE CoC Region includes 6 counties in Northeast Minnesota - Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching & Lake counties - and the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Leech Lake & Grand Portage Indian Reservations.
Key organizations participate in the CoC and organize and participate in local homeless coalitions. These organizations and local coalitions do the critical grassroots work of developing services and housing options for homeless people; running high quality programs; coordinating resources efficiently; identifying people who do not have housing; education the public about homelessness, and advocating for new resources to meet needs. Their efforts are the backbone of the accomplishments that have been made toward ending homelessness in Northeast Minnesota.
The Heading Home Northeast Plan was spearheaded by Plan to End Homelessness Committee of the NE CoC, but most of the planning and prioritizing was done on the county-level by homeless coalitions that meet on a regular basis to quantify the numbers and needs of homeless people, develop housing and programs to meet needs, oversee government homelessness funding, provide public education about homelessness, and engage citizens and the private sector in ending homelessness. The Plan’s goals were approved in April 2008.
Why does the CoC Matter?
According to HUD, a CoC is "a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximize self-sufficiency. It includes action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return to homelessness."
As part of this role, the NE CoC: