In 1987, Congress passed the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which authorized funds to agencies across the country to provide services to low-income and homeless persons. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was responsible for distributing funds allocated under the Act.
In the mid-90’s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development created a unique application process for distribution of the funds. In order to apply, organizations in the same community were required to create a Homeless Continuum of Care and submit a joint application. This process was designed to increase collaboration among homeless service and housing providers in communities, while at the same time decreasing the length of application review for the department.
In 1994, Mary Sliney, of The Way Home, and Maureen Beauregard, of Families in Transition, began working to develop a Continuum of Care for Manchester. Mary began reaching out to the community for support while Maureen began studying federal strategies in creating Continuums of Care.
In 1995, when the Notice of Funding Availability was posted for Continuums of Care, Mary and Maureen gathered support to submit the Continuum’s first joint proposal. Mary and Maureen continue to work with the community in developing support and capacity for the MCoC.
Today, the Continuum continues to grow, with strong connections to participating agencies in the community as well as emergency shelter beds, transitional housing beds, permanent supportive housing beds, safe haven beds, and rapid rehousing beds.
With several committees, dozens of participating agencies, and continued support from its passionate founders, the MCoC continues to foster community collaboration on developing shared resources to prevent and end homelessness.