The Monroe County CoC is the lead agency for the coordination and planning of homeless services in the Florida Keys.
In addition, the Monroe County CoC administers the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for our area and conducts the Annual Point-In-Time Survey (PIT) of homeless individuals.
As the Lead Agency, designated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, the Monroe County CoC organizes the collaboration of local agencies to to address the needs of clients and provide essential supportive services. By assessing and coordinating interagency communication and services, we avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and close gaps in services.
We educate ourselves and the community about the nature and extent of homelessness, including the needs of the people who are living through the experience of homelessness. We advocate for increased community, political and financial support for the homeless population and prevention of homelessness.
The Continuum-of-Care (CoC) has an open invitation to all community organizations and individuals, whether for-profit or not, who wish to participate in the strategy for preventing and ending homelessness. This includes formerly homeless persons and clients currently in programs. If you cannot attend the meetings of the Board, we'd still like to hear from you. Please click on "Contact" above. and complete the form.
The Continuum of Care takes up approximately 4 percent of HUD’s budget. Its authorizing statute was overhauled extensively, through an 8-year bipartisan legislative process that culminated in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, passed in 2009.
Despite its small size, it is effective in leveraging both additional funds and effective policies from local communities. Funding under the Continuum of Care is competitive both within communities and between communities. Among other things, the changes to the Continuum of Care in the HEARTH Act were influenced by House leadership’s views on poverty: that programs should use data and known effective practices, and should be driven by results. This approach has garnered substantial support from both political parties.
One important characteristic of the Continuum of Care is that it focuses exclusively on people whose housing situation is most dire. People living in these situations, unfortunately, are likely to be left out by larger HUD and other agency programs for which many others are eligible. The Continuum of Care limits eligibility for most of its housing and shelter resources to people who are homeless in the sense that they have no safe and viable place to live at all.
At the same time, there are millions of Americans who have bad housing situations and cannot afford housing that is better. This needs to be a major national priority. The Continuum of Care, however, is not the tool for this larger job. In summary, the Continuum of Care program is effective because Congress ensured that it knows what its job is and focuses on getting that job done.
Diana Flenard, Chair | Monroe Area ReMARCable Citizens
Steve Torrence, Vice-Chair | Metropolitan Community Church
Patrice Schwermer, Secretary | Catholic Charities
Matt Massoud, Treasurer | Monroe County Emergency Management