The Asheville-Buncombe Continuum of Care (CoC) is the collaborative planning body responsible for developing and overseeing a comprehensive and well-coordinated system of effective services designed to prevent and quickly resolve occurrences of homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County. The CoC has four components:

  1. A membership body of individuals and organizations with an interest in understanding homelessness and taking action together to address it. There are currently over 300 members of the Asheville-Buncombe CoC.
  2. A board elected by the membership body, from the membership body, to set strategy, priorities, and performance metrics. The CoC board brings together leaders of partner systems of care with fiscal and program authority. The first board of the CoC was elected on April 25, 2024 at a meeting of the full membership.
  3. Committees and work groups of members, appointed by the board, and given clear scopes of work, duties, deliverables, and time frames. Much of the substantive work of the CoC will happen in committees. 
  4. A Lead Agency designated by the membership body to provide strategic and administrative support to the CoC. The City of Asheville’s Homeless Strategy Division serves as the CoC Lead Agency. The CoC is not an initiative of the City of Asheville, but is community-based work with staff support from the Homeless Strategy Division.

Happening Now

Funding Update

Emergency Solutions Grant

Part of the CoC’s role is directing resources to have the greatest impact, including two annual funding opportunities from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and Continuum of Care Program Competition.  This year, the Asheville-Buncombe CoC is eligible for $123,887 in ESG funding to be used in calendar year 2025.

CoC Member organizations that are nonprofit organizations or local governments are eligible to apply.  ESG-eligible activities are specifically Emergency Services (Street Outreach and Emergency Shelter) and Housing Stabilization Services (Homelessness Prevention, Rapid Rehousing, and HMIS).   

The CoC Funding Committee will review all applications received and make recommendations to the Board for approval.  Homeless Strategy Division staff will facilitate submission of the Board-approved applications.

Letters of Intent are due June 24, 2024 and applications are due July 12, 2024.  Full details and deadlines are available on the Funding page managed by the Homeless Strategy Division.

Become a Member of the CoC

Anyone with an interest in understanding homelessness and taking action to address it can become a member of the CoC! Members can be individuals or organizations and staff of member organizations are encouraged to become individual members. CoC members are eligible to serve on the board, committees, and work groups.

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your membership form. Please email homelessstrategy@ashevillenc.gov if you would like a paper copy of these forms to be mailed to you. 

Attend New Member Orientation

All new CoC members are required to attend a one-hour orientation in order to be eligible to vote as part of the full membership body. Orientations happen on an ongoing basis and dates are announced as orientations become available. Please fill out the orientation registration form to see available dates and sign up. 

Stay Engaged

The Continuum of Care takes all of us! Your active participation helps the CoC grow and change in ways that will better serve our neighbors experiencing housing insecurity and the community as a whole. Use the Member Engagement Form to share reflections, ask questions, make suggestions, and indicate your interest in getting more involved with the work of the CoC. All information collected through this form will be channeled through the CoC Board. Lead Agency staff may also respond when appropriate.

Upcoming Board and Membership Meetings

CoC Board Meeting

Thursday, June 20, 2024

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Harrah’s Cherokee Center Banquet Hall (87 Haywood Street)

Meeting Materials

CoC Membership Meeting

Thursday, June 20, 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Harrah’s Cherokee Center Banquet Hall (87 Haywood Street)

Meeting Materials

 


Background

What is a Continuum of Care?

The CoC is a formally structured planning body, not an incorporated organization like a standalone nonprofit or business, that allows our community to share responsibility, accountability and make decisions together.  It is voluntary, participatory, and self-governing, and consolidates the efforts of nonprofits, governments, housing providers, landlords, funders, advocates, and experts to build a coordinated approach to addressing homelessness. 

The CoC does not provide direct services (like rental assistance or shelter) to people in crisis, nor does it provide direct funding to service providers.  Instead it is a way of convening people and organizations already taking action in those areas to facilitate collaboration, collect and review data that measures the service system’s effectiveness, and provide evidence-based recommendations to adjust the system when necessary.  It is a federal framework to guide local communities in effective and collaborative homelessness response.

The CoC is solutions-oriented with a common goal to resolve the crisis of each person experiencing homelessness. Trust and transparency are critical to develop a collaborative and unified approach to respond to these crises efficiently and effectively.  

In Asheville and Buncombe County, the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee (HIAC) has traditionally served as the CoC Board.  Based on recommendations from the National Alliance to End Homelessness about how to improve unsheltered homelessness in our community, HIAC initiated a process to create a new community-based membership body and elect a new CoC Board for more widespread participation and improved results.

The restructured CoC has recently been established and is governed by a charter adopted by its membership body on February 29, 2024.  The charter outlines roles and responsibilities of the CoC membership, board, committees, and Lead Agency. It also details the spirit of the CoC’s collaborative work through agreed-upon Shared Values and Guiding Principles:

  • Value the voice of people with lived experience
  • Be bold
  • Create accountable and transparent governance structures
  • Build trust through unity, collaboration, and performance
  • Focus on our future
  • Promote equity to advance change
  • Politics will not drive policies

Timeline

Date Action
January 25, 2023 National Alliance to End Homelessness presented recommendations emphasizing the need to build an effective CoC
February 9, 2023 Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee formed a Governance Work Group to lead CoC restructure and development
October 12, 2023 Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee endorses draft of new CoC charter and transitions Governance Work Group into Nominating and Membership Committee of the new CoC
December 4, 2023 CoC Membership drive begins.  CoC Members invited to provide feedback on draft charter
February 8, 2024 Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee endorses draft charter with revisions based on CoC Member feedback
February 29, 2024 CoC Membership holds first meeting and votes to adopt its new Governance Charter.  Board application process begins.
April 25, 2024 CoC Membership holds second meeting and elects new CoC Board
May 23, 2024 First Board Meeting

 

 

 


Reference Documents

CoC Governance Charter – formally adopted on February 29, 2024

CoC Code of Conduct

 

Past Meeting Materials

Membership Meetings

February 29, 2024

April 25, 2024

Board Meetings

 
 

Newsletters

March 15, 2024

March 27, 2024

April 29, 2024

May 16, 2024

May 24, 2024

June 6, 2024

 


Contact Information

CoC Lead Agency: 

Homeless Strategy Division

homelessstrategy@ashevillenc.gov 

828-271-6129

P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802

 

 


 

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