As you have probably figured out, the CoC NOFA is very different this year. HUD has created the most competitive application process for CoC funds we have ever seen, with a strong emphasis on evaluating project and system performance and reallocating funds to effective programs that actually reduce homelessness.
The NOFA also focuses on the goals articulated in Opening Doors, including an end to veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. The application newly requires CoCs to report their actual progress toward this important goal. The exciting news is that we know this achievement is within reach for many CoCs across the country. Several communities have already announced that they have succeeded.
In the world of homelessness assistance, housing is the number one priority. As we like to say at the Alliance, housed people aren’t homeless.
But what happens after people exit homelessness to housing? In an ideal world, homelessness should be rare, brief, and non-recurring. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. People who have been housed through homeless programs sometimes fall back into homelessness. Fortunately, researchers are working to determine why some households remain stably housed and others don’t.
After 30 years of widespread veteran homelessness, communities around the country are racing to end it by the end of this year. Some communities like Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, New Orleans, Houston, and Las Cruces, New Mexico have already announced that they’ve reached the goal.
How has the country suddenly gotten so close to bringing an end to veteran homelessness? We get this question a lot. The truth of course is that there’s nothing sudden about it. People have been working behind the scenes at the national, state and local levels for years to make this happen. Since 2009, they have reduced the number of veterans who experience homelessness on a given day by 33 percent. Here’s a look at how we got here.
As many readers of this blog are no doubt already know, last week the Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum finally released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). If you’re applying for funds through the NOFA, you should pay close attention not just to the big picture, but to all the details. That’s why over the next few weeks, we will be releasing more detailed information on the NOFA.
For now, though, here is a quick look at the NOFA’s three big-picture trends just to get you started.
Suddenly it’s everywhere: Congressional hearings, daily news stories, a pledge from hundreds of mayors. Community leaders and federal officials are talking about ending homelessness for veterans – not as some vague aspiration for the distant future, but by the end of this year, just a few months from now!
What’s going on?