Housing First and the 12 Continuums of Care
with the Largest Numbers of Homeless Persons in the U.S.
(A brief prepared by Joe Colletti, PhD and Sofia Herrera, PhD)
This brief focuses on the 12 continuums of care (CoCs) with the largest numbers of homeless persons nationwide and their responses to two questions about Housing First recently submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of their 2015 Continuum of Care applications (see Appendix A for a description of Housing First). The 12 CoCs include:
- New York City CoC;
- Los Angeles City and County CoC;
- Seattle/King County CoC;
- San Diego City and County CoC;
- Las Vegas/Clark County CoC;
- District of Columbia CoC;
- Texas Balance of State (BoS) CoC;
- Chicago CoC;
- San Francisco CoC;
- San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoC;
- Boston CoC;
- Philadelphia CoC.
The first question focused on barriers that prevent homeless persons from obtaining housing and the second question focused on barriers that could prevent them from maintaining their housing. The table below reveals that of the 1,111 new and renewal projects submitted by the 12 Continuums of Care
- 93% (1,035) indicated that their projects operate as low barrier projects, meaning that they do not screen out potential project participants based on the following four barriers: 1) too little or little income; 2) active or history of substance use; 3) criminal record, with exceptions for state-mandated restrictions; and 4) history of having been or being currently a victim of domestic violence (e.g., lack of a protective order, period of separation from abuser, or law enforcement involvement);
- 86% (958) committed to using a Housing First approach, meaning that the project quickly houses clients without preconditions or service participation requirements.
Table 1. Total number of homeless persons in 2015, total number of projects, total number and percent of projects that are low barrier, and the total number and percent of projects that adopted a Housing First approach for each of the 12 Continuums of Care with the largest numbers of homeless persons in the U.S. in January, 2015.
Continuum of Care:
Persons in January 2015
Total Number of Projects
Projects that are
that Adopted a Housing First approach
New York City CoC
Los Angeles City & County CoC
Seattle/King County CoC
San Diego City and County CoC
Las Vegas/Clark County CoC
District of Columbia CoC
Texas Balance of State (BoS) CoC
San Francisco CoC
San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoC
-source: FY 2015 Continuum of Care Applications submitted by all 12
Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-
to read the entire Brief
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