The Continuum of Care for Homelessness is a coordinated effort which was formed to provide a full spectrum of needed services to homeless individuals in this community for the purpose of empowering homeless persons to become as self-sufficient as possible. The local group was formed in September 1997 and participants in this process include representatives from government agencies, service providers, the faith community, housing providers, and agencies that represent persons with mental illnesses, disabilities, and chemical addictions.
The local Continuum of Care for Homelessness group meets regularly throughout the year to serve as a forum for discussing community-wide issues and to provide an opportunity for participants to learn of the status and description of services available in the community for homeless people. It also serves to expand understanding of the services needed by those who are homeless, to facilitate consolidation and coordination of such services, to reduce duplication of such services, and to improve service delivery to homeless people.
The group conducts an annual point in time count as part of a statewide survey effort to gain an encompassing view of the homeless population in Montana. The most recent count was conducted January 24, 2013. A total of 339 unduplicated people who fit within the group's definition of homeless were identified in Great Falls. In addition to determining overall numbers of homeless people in the community, specific demographic characteristics were obtained such as age, sex, ethnicity, veteran status, familial situation, disability status, and length of homelessness. Coordinated statewide counts are undertaken on an annual basis.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development awards grant funds to states and individual agency applicants through the Continuum of Care SuperNOFA to fund eligible homelessness services. For more information regarding Homeless Assistance through this agency, please see the link below. The local Continuum of Care group serves as a forum for community agencies to learn about the status of grant funds and to be a part of the process.
Contact Jolene Wetterau, CDBG/HOME Administrator, at 455-8407 for detailed information about the Continuum of Care for Homelessness process.