Continuum of Care

Point in Time


The 2019 Cape & Islands Regional Network on Homelessness Point in Time count will start on the evening of Tuesday, January 29 and continue for 24 hours into Wednesday, January 30. A training session for all volunteers will be held on Wednesday, January 16 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM in the Innovation Room in the Open Cape Corporation building at the Barnstable County Complex, 3195 Main Street, Barnstable, MA.  To volunteer or for more information contact:  Martha Taylor, CoC Program Manager | or call (508) 375-6625.

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. The CoC Program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and affect utilization of programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  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. The Cape and Islands CoC, which is governed by the Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness, currently supports 10 projects providing permanent supportive housing to 145 households.

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Fact Sheet

FACT SHEET: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act – Continuum of Care Grant Program, June 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.  Barnstable County 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 Cape & Islands Regional Network on Homelessness/Continuum of Care uses a Coordinated Entry System that links the most vulnerable homeless individuals and families to available resources.  Coordinated Entry is an approach to ending homelessness that requires comprehensive coordination of all housing and service resources in a community to better match people experiencing homelessness to appropriate permanent housing placement.  On the Cape and Islands, CES operates through community access points across the region.  For more information contact

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 FY 2017, over $2 billion was awarded to new and renewal projects across the United States. The 16 CoC regions in Massachusetts were awarded a total of $73,552,552. In January 2018, the Cape and Islands CoC, which is governed by the Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness Policy Board, received $1,598,108 to support 10 projects providing permanent supportive housing to 145 individuals. This award includes five new permanent supportive housing beds on Martha’s Vineyard. The grant also supports CoC planning, CES expansion, and the HMIS. As the Regional Network’s convening entity and Cape and Islands CoC collaborative applicant, Barnstable County Department of Human Services provides monitoring, operational infrastructure, and administrative support.


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MA-503 HUD CoC FY2017 Awards Chart

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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

Cape and Islands Receive Grant to Address Youth Homelessness

For More Information Contact: Beth Albert, Director Department of Human Services 508-375-6626 Cape and Islands Receive Grant to Address Youth Homelessness January 31, 2019, Barnstable. Barnstable County Department of Human Services was...

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Barnstable County is Hiring a HOME Program Manager

Barnstable County seeks a full time grant Program Manager. Master’s Degree in public administration or related field and five years’ experience in program administration, affordable housing development, and underwriting/financial analysis; or an equivalent combination...

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