Background of the Indianapolis Continuum of Care
In 2011 with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP) began a process called Blueprint 2 to develop a community plan to address homelessness in Indianapolis. The Blueprint 2 document, published in August 2013, highlights what was done over the course of 2011: CHIP completed research and interviews, convened a Process Steering Committee, set goals, and drafted narrative for a new plan. The community decided it needed to work more closely as a group before proceeding with a plan document and in late 2012 and early 2013, the community convened across four daylong sessions through which participants explored critical issues to be addressed in a new plan, including:
- The stigma from stereotypes placed on those experiencing homelessness;
- The varied causes of chronic homelessness and the barriers to overcoming it;
- The complex task of preventing homelessness;
- The necessity of developing goals and strategies that are directly influenced by the voices of those experiencing homelessness;
- The necessity of working across sectors to find and implement solutions that include the best of what we are as providers; business, faith-based, and governmental entities; and funders
Participants then went on to develop a vision and goals for the plan, defining what success meant for Indianapolis. Plan strategies were then solidified, ensuring that each community entity saw itself as a meaningful player in the work. Finally, timelines for action and a structure for implementation were decided upon.
What does a CoC do?
The Continuum of Care (CoC) is established by representatives of relevant organizations within the city of Indianapolis to carry out the responsibilities set forth in the CoC Program rules. A CoC is expected to address homelessness through a coordinated community-based process of identifying needs and building a system of housing and services that addresses those needs. A CoC is designed to:
- Promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness
- Provide funding for efforts for rapidly re-housing homeless individuals and families
- Promote access to and effective use of mainstream programs
- Optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness
More details about the responsibilities of a CoC can be found https://www.hudexchange.info/coc.