Continuum of Care
Funding Opportunities through the CoC.
What is the Northwestern Illinois Continuum of Care?
- The Northwestern Illinois CoC is group of government and non-profit agencies, individuals and businesses which meets to develop a long-term strategic plan and manage a year-round planning effort that addresses the identified needs of homeless individuals and households; the availability and accessibility of existing housing and services; and the opportunities for linkages with mainstream housing and services resources.
Who runs the CoC?
- The CoC is overseen by an 11-person Board of Directors. The Board has designated Project NOW to be the Lead Agency of the CoC as well as its HMIS Administrator and Fiscal Agent. Currently Ron Lund, serves as the President of the Board.
What counties fall under the CoC?
- Bureau, Carroll, Henry, JoDaviess, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Stephenson and Whiteside.
What resources flow through the CoC?
- The following are the major resources that flow through the CoC:
- Illinois Department of Human Services - Homeless Prevention
- These funds are designed to assist those experiencing an economic crisis with rent, deposit, mortgage, and utility assistance.
- HUD – McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance
- These funds provide supportive services and housing programs to those who are homeless. This includes services like emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, etc.
- Application is made by the Lead Agency of the CoC (Project NOW) on behalf of the entire Continuum
- HUD & State of Illinois – Emergency Solutions Grant
- These funds provide supportive services and housing programs to those who are homeless. This includes services like emergency shelters, rental assistance and deposit assistance.
How do these resources flow through the CoC and how can they be accessed?
- All funds under the control of the CoC can be accessed by paid voting members of the CoC. Projects are selected based on available funds and priorities of HUD and the local CoC.
- Homeless Prevention has been allocated to the Community Action Agencies within the 15 counties and Prairie State Legal to prevent duplication of services.
- Emergency Solutions Grant can be applied for each year by any paid member agency.
How often does the CoC meet and where?
- Due to the large coverage area of the CoC, general membership meetings are held bi-monthly.
Challenges to the CoC:
- The wide coverage area designated to the CoC makes the ability to gather needs data and community information difficult. The CoC is comprised of rural and urban areas stretching 9,144 square miles across Illinois. This makes it difficult when meeting as a Continuum to address the needs of each community.
Other Continuum activities:
- Point-In-Time Counts: Once a year the CoC takes a snapshot of Homelessness in our continuum. The last 10 days in January, information is gathered on those living in emergency, transitional programs. Volunteers are also used to search known locations of those sleeping in places not meant for human habitation.
- Homeless Management Information System (HMIS): The CoC provides all homeless services providers with the option to implement the HMIS system within their agency. The HMIS system is an online database that assists in tracking services for those homeless in our Continuum.