CONTINUUM OF CARE (CoC)
A Continuum of Care is (CoC) is a collaborative approach that helps communities plan for and provide a full range of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing and supportive services to address the various needs of people who are housing insecure. The Colorado Balance of State (BoS) Continuum of Care is organized into 10 regional planning groups, of which Chaffee County, along with Fremont, Custer, Lake, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Park and Teller counties, constitutes the Upper Arkansas Valley group.
The Chaffee County Continuum of Care (CoC) was created in 2022, bringing together community organizations across the county that serve both homeless and housing insecure members of the community. These organizations range from providing veteran and behavioral mental health services, to operating a men's and women’s winter emergency shelter, to empowering individuals impacted by domestic violence. Coordinated by the new CHA Housing Navigator, these groups now come together twice a month to work collaboratively to achieve the primary goal of "housing first, and then access to other needed services and resources for housing insecure community members."
In this Continuum of Care (CoC) Model, a client can “come through the front door” of any participating community organization to access all identified housing and supportive resources. The “inner circle” of organizations from the graphic above are directly involved in case conferencing - a collaborative process to first, identify all resources possible for housing opportunities, and second, to meet any other needs (such as obtaining disability or SNAP benefits, or securing legal documents, etc.)
As a result of participating in this process, community member organizations claim:
“Being involved in the CoC process and working with all these different community organizations has been great because I have learned about a number of resources out there that I didn’t know existed, and now I have those to pass along to those staying at our shelters.”
Mo Zeimet, Chaffee Hospitality Inc.
“Collaborating with the various agencies involved with the CoC has greatly impacted my work with the Head Start families. Housing is a critical need for them and by attending these meetings and learning about new housing developments, opportunities, etc., I am better equipped to advocate for our clients. I am also armed with more resources to share with clients and professional development opportunities for myself and my co-workers (e.g., a training on Mental Health First Aid).”
Sheri Johnson-Horsley, Early Childhood Center