The Background

Until 1987, homelessness was mainly considered a local issue. Originally named the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act addressed homelessness at a federal level for the first time. After signing it into law on July 22, 1987, financial support was given to individual agencies serving the homeless. From 1987 to 1994, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) collected applications and awarded funding accordingly to individual agencies. 

In 1995, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), recognizing the importance of community wide planning and coordination, required that communities come together to submit a single, comprehensive Continuum of Care application. 

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.



National Alliance to End Homelessness

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development