Continuum of Care
A Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness by providing services that are needed to help these individuals and families move into permanent housing, with the goal of long-term stability. The CoC Program is set up in a way that promotes community wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness and improve coordination to mainstream resources and other programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness.
This includes using coordinated access and assessments for resources and a system wide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database. Continuums of Care are codified into law by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act and regulated by the Interim Rule and state and local laws and policies. The CoC Lead is responsible for planning in the CoC and overseeing the entire CoC which includes the Coordinated Entry System, HMIS, and other projects that are considered a part of the system of care. These projects can be other homeless service providers who are not CoC-funded or providers who have services that are utilized by those in the community experiencing homelessness. Federal and State rules and policies guide the maintenance and progress of the Contra Costa CoC, including the project and system functions and roles in preventing and addressing homelessness as part of the system of care.
- Strategic Planning
- Coordinated Entry System
- Tools for Partners
- Homeless Partner Map
- Voices of People With Lived Experience
- 2020 CoC Strategy Diagram
- CoC Strategic Plan (2014)
- Priority Plans: 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019
Coordinated Entry System
Establishing a Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a federal and state requirement for the CoC and is strongly encouraged by most funders, including H3 on behalf of Contra Costa County and CoC. The primary goals for the Contra Costa CES are that assistance be allocated as effectively as possible and that it be easily accessible no matter where or how people present. Coordinated Entry is a centralized and coordinated process designed to streamline voluntary placement into permanent and stable housing through consumer intake, assessment, and provision of referrals. The purpose of the County's CES is to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access and are quickly identified, assessed for, and connected to housing and homeless services based on their strengths and needs. It uses standardized tools and practices, incorporates a system-wide Housing First (no barriers to entry) approach, and, in an environment of scarce resources, coordinates housing support so that those with the most severe service needs are prioritized. Contra Costa's CoC has designated Contra Costa Health Services Health Housing and Homeless Services (H3) Division as the provider and manager of the CES.
How to Access Coordinated Entry
- Call 211 or text HOPE to 20121
- Go to a CARE center
- Connect with CORE mobile outreach by calling 211
- Coordinated Entry Process Flow
- Coordinated Entry Policies & Procedures
- Coordinated Entry Housing Security Fund Policies & Procedures
- Coordinated Entry System Evaluation
The Plan for Accelerating Transformative Housing (PATH)
Innovation Committee of the Council on Homelessness is tasked with implementing recommendations from this evaluation. For more information on the work of the PATH Innovation committee, you can read meeting minutes and see slide decks here.
Homeless Partner Map
The Homeless Partner Map displays homeless services and those connections to other partnering services in Contra Costa County. This tool is designed to help local agencies and partners understand how various local systems and partners are currently connected to the homeless system (Contra Costa's Homeless Continuum of Care). The tool is not intended to give detailed information about each service or provider.
The elements in the center represent homeless services available through the homeless system. The elements in purple on the outside represent partnering services that connect in multiple ways to the system and also serve a wider population.
- Click on "Full Map" at the top to see all services and their connections to the system
- Click on "Show Connections" at the bottom to see or remove connections between Homeless System of Care services and Partner Services
- Arrows reflect the direction of referrals, ie: from services in the homeless system of care to partner services
- Click on the elements to learn more about each service
- Click on the CoC logo at the top to get to a list of current participating partners
This is a living tool and we will incorporate feedback from users at least annually. You can provide feedback on this tool by clicking here.
Voices of People With Lived Experience
The Journal was produced by Project Room Key residents and staff in an effort to strengthen the sense of community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Call For Change (2018)
Call for Change is a photovoice project that brought together photos and messages from people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa County.
The Contra Costa Continuum of Care is committed to increasing equity across the homeless system of care.
In 2020, we partnered with C4 Innovations (C4) to conduct a series of four (4) Equity trainings; conduct a racial equity system analysis of the Contra Costa Continuum of Care (CoC) and build capacity to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities across the homeless response system; and develop a guide to support engagement of people with lived experience of homelessness across all parts of our system.
Equity Training Series conducted by C4 Innovations in 2020:
- Training 1 recording
- Training 2 recording
- Training 3 recording
- Training 4 recording
In 2020-2021, partners from inside and outside our Continuum of Care also participated in a project called the Racial Equity Action Lab (REAL), sponsored by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII), Homebase, All Home, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, to advance racial equity in Bay Area homelessness systems. The project description and summary of recommendations from this project are posted below: