Each jurisdiction receiving homeless program assistance funds from HUD must comply with S. 896 HEARTH Act of 2009 (24 CFR 578) by establishing a Continuum of Care (CoC). Two CoC’s exist in Idaho: Idaho Balance of State CoC and Boise City/Ada County CoC. A CoC is a group composed of representatives of relevant organizations that are authorized to plan and provide, as necessary, a system of outreach, engagement, and assessment; emergency shelter; rapid re-housing; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; and prevention strategies to address the various needs of the homeless and at risk of homelessness persons for a specific geographic area. Each CoC must establish a Board to serve as the recognized decision-making body for the wider Continuum of Care jurisdiction.
The Idaho Balance of State CoC’s Board is the Idaho Homelessness Coordinating Committee (IHCC). The IHCC is supported by multiple sub-committees and regional housing and homelessness coalitions. The IHCC’s jurisdictional coverage includes regions one (1) through six (6), to the right. The purpose of the IHCC is to facilitate the coordination, communication, and cooperation of housing and supportive services. This work occurs within the various sub-committees of the IHCC. Committee input ensures that scarce resources devoted to alleviate homelessness are maximized by filling identified service gaps in communities throughout Idaho. The IHCC is instrumental in the development, recommendation, and implementation of a comprehensive statewide strategy to address homelessness and housing needs for regions one (1) through six (6).
General membership of the IHCC includes: Nonprofit Homeless Assistance Providers, Victim Service Providers, Faith-based Organizations, Local Government Officials, Private Businesses, Advocates, Public Housing agencies, School Districts, Social Service Providers, Mental Health Agencies, Hospitals, Universities/Colleges, Affordable Housing Developers, Law Enforcement, Veterans’ Service Organizations, US Congress Representatives, HUD Representatives, United Way Representatives, and State Representatives. The IHCC has a standing open invitation for new member participation.
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) is designated by the IHCC to serve as the Collaborative Applicant for the CoC. The Collaborative Applicant is responsible for coordination, communication, record keeping of meeting agendas and minutes, annual reporting, completion and submittal of the annual CoC program application, general program administration and oversight, monitoring, and other duties as assigned. IHFA is also the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Lead for all of Idaho.
The IHCC has developed Written Standards for the Continuum of Care to provide guidance to providers of homeless services. These Written Standards identify Idaho’s commitment to providing service to persons experiencing homelessness using Housing First principles, and capture the standards by which the IHCC prioritizes projects for funding.