What is a Continuum of Care?

A Continuum of Care is a collaborative funding and planning approach that helps communities plan for and provide, as necessary, a full range of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing and other service resources to address the various needs of persons experiencing homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also refers to the group of service providers involved in the decision making processes as the ‘‘Continuum of Care.’’

The Texas Balance of State CoC (TX BoS CoC) is made up of all service providers, advocates, local government officials, and citizens who work to eliminate homelessness in 215 of Texas’ 254 counties. The TX BoS CoC is governed by a 15 member Board elected by the general members of the CoC. Texas Homeless Network (THN) serves as the lead agency for the TX BoS CoC and assists the CoC with completing its legislatively mandated activities, including:

  • Establishing a planning body and leadership structure for the CoC
  • Administering and operating HMIS
  • Conducting CoC planning and operations
  • Facilitating the application for federal CoC Program funding


The overarching goals of the TX BoS CoC, as established by the HEARTH Act, are to:
    • Promote community commitment to the goal of ending homelessness
    • Provide and/or facilitate funding to re-house people experiencing homelessness
    • Assist individuals experiencing homelessness to access and maintain mainstream benefits
    • Optimize self-sufficiency to prevent recurrence of homelessness

The TX BoS CoC has also adopted goals related to the evaluation of project and system performance in accordance with the HEARTH Act:
    • Reducing the length of time homeless
      • Goal of 30 days or less average length of time spent homeless
    • Reducing the number of homeless people
    • Reducing the number of newly homeless
    • Reducing returns to homelessness
    • Increasing exits to permanent housing
    • Increasing income and employment
    • Increasing access to the utilization of mainstream benefits.

To better understand system performance and measure progress toward meeting these goals, the TX BoS CoC will adopt performance measures at the project and systems levels that support these goals.

Further, the TX BoS CoC has established several deadlines to end homelessness for certain sub-populations:
    • End Veteran Homelessness by 2016
    • End Chronic Homelessness by 2017
    • End Family Homelessness by 2020
    • End Youth Homelessness by 2020


The geographic area of the TX BoS CoC includes 215 counties throughout the state of Texas. Within those counties, approximately 25 Local Homeless Coalitions (LHCs) conduct local CoC planning, housing and service development and delivery, and evaluation, as well as CoC-wide activities through the LHC Chairs, the CoC Board, and CoC committees.

As the lead agency, Texas Homeless Network supports LHCs in planning by assisting communities to:
    • Identify trends and assess changes in the homeless population for community planning
    • Develop program designs to address gaps in shelter and/or services
    • Assist agencies with data needed to apply for additional funding through governmental, community, or private sources
    • Measure system performance and establish performance standards
    • Conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) Count
    • Establish a Coordinated Entry System (CES)
    • Advocate for local leadership to effect policy change
    • Accomplish CoC-wide goals
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