The Continuum of Care is a community-based, long-range plan that addresses the needs of homeless persons in order to help them reach maximum self-sufficiency. The Continuum of Care is developed through collaboration with a broad cross section of the community and based on a thorough assessment of homeless needs and resources. The Continuum of Care is recommended by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a comprehensive and strategic approach to addressing homelessness.
The Continuum of Care system is a coordinated set of services available to persons who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. Not all homeless persons will need services from each component in the Continuum of Care. A full range of services should be available, however, in order to meet the needs of different subpopulations of homeless persons.
The fundamental components of the Continuum of Care system do not work in isolation from one another. Rather, the Continuum of Care system is a dynamic system in which services are linked through referrals and networking. This linkage helps homeless persons access services more easily and progress toward permanent housing and self-sufficiency. Homeless persons do not necessarily move through the system in a linear fashion.
The Continuum of Care system in South Dakota is made up of service providers, organizations, and other interested people who offer programs and services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the State. The continuum includes programs that provide emergency services, transitional services, and permanent supportive housing to people who qualify for the various programs designed to help people who need assistance to obtain and sustain a decent housing environment.
One resource that is available to address this need is the HUD Continuum of Care Program. The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium (SDHHC); which is a statewide organization of nonprofit and private businesses, disability service organizations, local community representatives, public housing authorities, private landlords, former homeless persons, housing developers, regional community action agencies, and state agencies; submits a single statewide application to access this federal resource annually. Projects that address identified needs are selected by SDHHC membership for inclusion in the statewide application. For more information about eligible activities, see http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/index.cfm.
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, Housing Research & Development Officer