Continuum of Care


The Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness has released its 2017 findings from the Annual Point in Time count which took place on January 24, 2017 on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

To read full press release, open Press Release: Results of 2017 Annual Point in Time Homeless Count Released – April 18, 2017
For more information, visit our web page Point in Time Count.


Continuum of Care Grant Program

Purpose | Fact SheetProgram Components | Point in Time Count | Funding | Grantees Publications and Data | Calendar | Contact | News


The Continuum of Care (CoC) Grant Program is a homeless assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  HUD’s 2016 Policy Priorities are to: create a systematic response to homelessness; strategically allocate resources; end chronic, youth, veteran, and family homelessness with a Housing First Approach.

As the primary federal resource to end homelessness, the CoC grant program competitively funds CoCs to impact homelessness at the local level.  In Massachusetts, there are 16 CoC regions that support 4,578 units of permanent supportive housing.  The Cape and Islands CoC, which is governed by the Cape and Islands Regional Network to Address Homelessness, supports 12 projects providing permanent supportive housing to 145 households.

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Fact Sheet

FACT SHEET: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, February 2017

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Program Components

The CoC Program is designed to assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness and provide the services needed to help them move into transitional and permanent housing with the goal of long-term stability. More broadly, the CoC Program is designed to promote community-wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness; improve coordination and integration with mainstream resources and other programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness; improve data collection and performance measurement; and allow each community to tailor its programs to the particular strengths and challenges in assisting homeless individuals and families within that community.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is defined as community-based housing without a designated length of stay in which formerly homeless individuals and families live as independently as possible.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is an information management system used to collect data on client needs and the provision of housing and services.  Housing Assistance Corp (HAC) is responsible for maintaining the Cape and Islands CoC HMIS system.  For more information, read MA 503 HMIS Policies and Procedures.

Point in Time (PIT) Count is an annual count of the number of people experiencing homelessness in emergency shelters, transitional housing, on the street, in cars, abandoned buildings, and in other places not meant for human habitation.  The PIT is conducted annually across the nation during a 24-hour period in the month of January.

Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a system developed at the local level to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis are quickly identified, assessed, and connected to housing and assistance based on their needs.  The need for coordination and tracking of intake, assessment, referral, and housing placement is a priority for the Regional Network which initiated a pilot CES during the summer of 2015 and began to implement the system in 2016.

Housing First is an approach in which housing is offered to people experiencing homelessness without preconditions (such as sobriety, mental health treatment, or a minimum income threshold) or service participation requirements. HUD encourages all recipients of CoC Program-funded PSH to follow a Housing First approach.

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Point in Time Count

The annual Point in Time Count of the Cape and Islands homeless is required by the Continuum of Care (CoC) Grant Program and is conducted by The Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness.

For results of the annual Point in time Counts from this year and previous years, visit Point in Time Count.

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In March 2016, the Cape and Islands CoC received $1.9 million in FY 15 HUD funds to support twelve programs that provide housing to over 145 formerly homeless individuals. This award also supports 10 new permanent supportive housing beds, HMIS and development of the CES. As the Regional Network’s convening entity and CoC collaborative applicant, Barnstable County Department of Human Services provides fiscal management, monitoring, operational infrastructure, and administrative support.


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CoC FY2015 Renewal and New Application Awards for Tier 1 Tier 2

CoC 2015 Grantees

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Publications and Data

Barnstable County Department of Human Services provides critical documents, resources, and related links relating to substance use. For a repository of synthesized local data in original in-house publications and reports, visit the Continuum of Care Publications and Data web page.

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Calendar-Icon Visit Department of Human Services’ Calendar for meetings and their related documents.

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For more information on the Continuum of Care Grant Program, contact Beth Albert, Director, Barnstable County Department of Human Services at 508-375-6626 or

For more information on the Coordinated Entry System (CES), contact CES coordinator, Tracy Longo, at (508) 375-6945 or

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Latest News


Job Announcement – Continuum of Care Grant Program

Barnstable County Department of Human Services seeks a full-time Program Manager to manage the Continuum of Care program.  Professional and technical work in planning and implementing grant-funded programs in accordance with County’s goals and state and federal...

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Department of Human Services' meeting schedules and deadlines.

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