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A Step-By-Step Guide to Continuum of Care

While it doesn’t exactly require any deep explanation, it’s safe to say that the economy hasn’t been performing too well lately, and with employment hitting record lows, things are definitely not looking up. 

On top of this, a lot of people are getting evicted from their homes, and there’s an overall money issue, causing major discomfort for any average American whose income is no longer able to sustain their entire family. 

A lot of factors go into this, but once you pair up soaring rent prices and the cost of goods going up, you’ve got a recipe for disaster, and anyone who wasn’t doing particularly well on the financial side of things before, is in a lot of trouble. 

However, not all hope is lost, and dozens of organizations out there are doing everything in their power to help these people, more particularly, organizations like National Alliance to End Homelessness, which focuses on this pressing issue in the US. 

Among the government’s programs, you may also find the Continuum of Care program, which aims to help individuals and families dealing with homelessness by assisting them in their search for transitional or permanent housing options.

How does it work?

At its core, the CoC program collects data on the homeless population across the country, compiling it into one report that they later use to develop new strategies to tackle the issue. 

On top of this, they provide the newly found info to organizations as well as the government to get them in on dealing with homelessness. 

If you’re looking for housing options that are meant for homeless individuals and families, the first place you may want to look is the CoC website, as they’re the largest source of information on the subject. 

The list of programs that tackle the issues goes on, and you may even be surprised at the number of organizations that fight homelessness in the US, but you may still notice some that stick out among the rest. 

Oftentimes, the solutions these organizations offer are temporary, and only exist to help these individuals/families until they’re able to find another housing option for themselves. 

As expected, each program will also come with its own set of requirements that applicants will have to meet if they wish to receive benefits, and if you find yourself interested in any of the housing programs, the best course of action is to go to its official website and get informed.

Homeless shelters

This is a term that’s familiar to many, even though only a few actually know how it works if they’ve never visited one. 

On top of this, a lot of people don’t even know where their local homeless shelter is, which can be detrimental if they’re put in a position where they’re forced to live in one. 

Many organizations across the country offer their services at these shelters, and these range from the Salvation Army to Feeding America, among others. 

The general idea of these shelters is to offer the homeless population a safe, clean, and warm place to spend the night, and while the length of a person’s stay can vary from shelter to shelter, as long as they’re in one, people are given a bed for the night and meals to keep them from being hungry. 

In fact, some of these shelters even offer medical and psychological counseling for those who need it and even educational opportunities that may help an individual get back on their feet. 

Unfortunately, most shelters employ a first-come first-get-served basis, and it’s why many people are turned away if a shelter is already fully occupied.

Transitional housing

Unlike homeless shelters, transitional housing options are a much broader term, one that applies to a number of supportive systems that aim to help the homeless population find a permanent home. 

Essentially, transitional housing is there to help anyone who’s only experiencing homelessness as a passing issue, rather than those dealing with chronic homelessness, and it offers a safe area for those people to live in while they figure things out. 

Through CoC, governments and other organizations battling homelessness offer transitional housing options fairly commonly, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness can be a great resource for finding transitional housing options. 

On top of this, the NAEH also offers assistance to individuals and families dealing with domestic violence, underage runaways as well as veterans dealing with mental health issues that prevent them from living in their current homes.

Transitional shelters

Similarly to homeless shelters, transitional shelters offer a housing opportunity for periods up to 2 years long to anyone who needs a housing option while they figure things out. 

Additionally, the transitional shelters will offer assistance with finding a permanent home, as well as services like counseling and education for those in need. 

These services exist to help these people find a purpose in life, whether it’s a career, finding a permanent home, or simply overcoming the challenges in their lives that led them to become homeless in the first place.

Rapid Re-Housing

Unlike shelters, the rapid re-housing option chooses to battle homelessness in a much more direct fashion, focusing on the root causes that lead to people becoming homeless and finding ways to fix or remove them. 

The workers at these programs work together with the homeless population to help them identify these issues in their lives and improve their overall living standards, which may lead to further quality of life improvements within said person’s life. 

A number of things can lead to a person becoming homeless, and most of these circumstances are out of a person’s hands, although they can be related to substance abuse, unemployability, and/or mental and physical challenges a person can’t overcome.


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