History & Governance
Since the late 90’s, Central Oregonians have gathered to coordinate services and discuss solutions to the complex social issues facing those living in poverty. These stakeholders included nonprofit homeless assistance providers, victim service providers, members of faith-based organizations, city and county staff, emergency services personnel, law enforcement, parole/ probation officers, business owners, advocates, the public housing authority, educators, social service providers, mental health and healthcare professionals, affordable housing developers, people with lived experience, and others who care about our unhoused neighbors. By 2005, this group of concerned providers was meeting informally as the Central Oregon Homeless Leadership Coalition and completing the annual Point in Time Count.
On May 20, 2009, the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act was signed into federal law. Subsequent amendments to the Hearth Act required that communities nationwide organize into a Continuums of Care (CoC) for a designated geographic area in order to apply for and receive federal funding. The CoC program provides funding for housing and supportive services, homelessness prevention, system planning and data management. This model encourages communities to take a collective impact approach to end homelessness. In 2011, HLC formalized in accordance with Hearth Act requirements and applied for continuum of care status.
Our CoC represents services offered in Crook, Deschutes and, Jefferson counties and, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. As the CoC, Homeless Leadership Coalition is responsible for
- Promotes a community-wide commitment to employ best practices to prevent and end homelessness
- Conducts system planning, prioritization, a gaps analysis and coordination of the work of CoC member agencies
- Central Oregon’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, The High Desert Home
- Secures funding for efforts by providers and government entities to prevent homelessness and quickly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon, while minimizing the trauma and dislocation that homelessness causes to individuals, families, and communities. This is done primarily through preparation of CoC’s collaborative application for funds known as the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
- Organizes the annual Point in Time Count (PIT) Count of individuals who are experiencing homelessness throughout all of Central Oregon
- administers an electronic data collection system that allows homeless service providers to record client information and track services provided by implementing the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
- Promotes access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by individuals and families experiencing homelessness by implementing and overseeing a Coordinated Entry System
- and evaluates how the CoC is performing using HUD’s System Performance Measures.
The HLC is governed by a board of directors. This is an independent body comprised of community stakeholders who are committed to furthering the HLC’s work to prevent and end homelessness in Central Oregon. The CoC board serves as the primary decision-making body for the HLC and oversees regional planning and the funding activities conducted by the HLC. Board members are charged with ensuring the responsibilities of the HLC/CoC as required by the Hearth Act and the CoC Interim Program rule.
You can read about other CoC’s in Oregon here.