Continuum of Care

veterans march

CoC Mission

Coordinate and implement a system that prevents and eradicates homelessness throughout Philadelphia.

If you have any questions contact Roberta Cancellier
Deputy Director
Lauren Whitleigh,
Director, CoC Planning


2016 Homeless Point in Time Count All Households

2017 Housing Inventory Chart

What is a Continuum of Care (CoC)?

The Philadelphia Continuum of Care (CoC) is an inter-agency planning body committed to coordinating and implementing a community-wide response to addressing homelessness in the city of Philadelphia.  The response includes:

  • outreach;
  • shelter, housing and supportive services;
  • homeless prevention strategies that address the needs of persons experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness.

The City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services prepares an annual application to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for CoC Program funding to support the work of the Philadelphia CoC.

What We Do

The Philadelphia CoC:

1. Operates the Continuum of Care:

a) Evaluates the system-wide performance of the CoC in reducing homelessness in Philadelphia

b) Ensures the CoC utilizes a well-advertised and transparent Coordinated Entry System that provides people at risk of or experiencing homelessness access to a streamlined and standardized process that links them to appropriate resources to resolve their homelessness

c) Ensures the CoC has established and is consistently following written standards for administering homeless assistance

d) Convenes regular meetings of the CoC membership: Board, Advisory Committee and related subcommittees and work groups

2. Designates a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for the Philadelphia CoC
3. Plans for the CoC:

a) Conducts at least a biennial Point-in-Time Count of persons experiencing homelessness to track progress on reducing homelessness in Philadelphia

b) Conducts at least a biennial Housing Inventory Count of all the homeless assistance beds operating in the Philadelphia CoC to identify gaps in the system and identify the types of homelessness assistance beds of which the CoC needs more

c) Convenes regular meetings of the CoC membership to identify the strengths of the system, the improvements needed in the system and other topics related to serving people at risk of or experiencing homelessness

d) Uses HUD reports, including the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the Annual Performance Reports of individual projects and the System Performance Measures Report to track progress in making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in Philadelphia

4. Prepares an annual application to HUD for CoC Program funding to support the operation of homeless assistance projects, HMIS and CoC Planning activities.

Who We Are

Membership in the Philadelphia CoC is open to all stakeholders in Philadelphia interested in the purpose of the CoC.  Stakeholders may join the CoC at anytime. The CoC issues an invitation to actively recruit new members annually. The Office of Homeless Services manages the CoC roster and records.

The CoC includes representation from: non-profit homeless service providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, social service providers, government entities, advocates, public housing, secondary and higher education, behavioral health service providers, healthcare, affordable housing developers, legal service providers, funders, the business community, the public library, LGBTQ-serving organizations and individuals currently or formerly experiencing homelessness.

Our Governance Structure

The Philadelphia CoC Governance Charter outlines the roles and responsibilities of its Board, Advisory Committee and related subcommittees.

The Board is the governing body of the Philadelphia CoC and is responsible for approval of all CoC policies, procedures, and funding decisions.  CoC Board decisions are made with input from the CoC Advisory Committee, standing subcommittees, and the City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services.

The Board has representation from government, the provider community, people who have experienced homelessness and other relevant community stakeholders.

Our Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a broad-based group of stakeholders that meets regularly to provide input to the CoC Board and the Office of Homeless Services on issues related to the planning and operation of the CoC and on broader implementation and policy issues impacting homelessness.

HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Funding

HUD Continuum of Care Program funding supports more than 2,500 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for persons with disabilities, Rapid Re-Housing and Transitional Housing. CoC Program funding also supports the CoC’s HMIS and Planning activities. CoC’s goals are to house people experiencing homelessness quickly while minimizing trauma and dislocation to those persons, promote access to and effective use of mainstream programs by persons experiencing homelessness and optimize self-sufficiency among persons experiencing homelessness.

The Office of Homeless Services prepares Philadelphia’s annual application to HUD for CoC Program Funding and ensures that the CoC fulfills all of its duties as defined in HUD’s CoC Interim Rule.  Homeless Services staff support the work of the CoC Board, Advisory Committee, subcommittees and workgroups.