Homeless Assistance

Since 1995, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has required that communities promote the development of a Continuum of Care (COC). A COC is a regional or local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals. The Chester County Department of Community Development (DCD) coordinates one of the 476 Continuums of Care that exist nationwide.

A logo for the Decade to Doorways program
Although not a federal mandate, HUD has urged COCs to develop and adopt 10-Year Plans to Prevent and End Homelessness in their community. With the purpose of serving as a community plan to organize and deliver housing services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximize self sufficiency, action steps are created and assigned to key community groups that help implement the strategies to end homelessness and prevent a return to homelessness.

The Chester County Department of Community Development has initiated the process of developing Chester County’s 1st Continuum of Care 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Through a series of community meetings and the development of core working groups, DCD is helping to facilitate an inventory of mainstream resources for homeless populations and the organization of such resources in order to support the strategies that are developed in the context of existing homeless. The purpose of the 10-Year Plan is to develop a County-wide coordination plan for the provision of homeless prevention and shelter services.

Major goals

  • Reducing homelessness in Chester County
  • Providing a comprehensive profile of homelessness in Chester County
  • Assessing Chester County’s methods for addressing homelessness, and preparing for changing trends such as the HearthAct and the Federal Plan to End Homelessness;
  • Developing and strengthening methods for leveraging other services with the Continuum of Care system, such as workforce, public service, and housing initiatives, and;
  • Developing an education, awareness, and advocacy tool for DCD and its partners in order to increase grant funding and strengthen COC applications to HUD.

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Links to federal government updates and related news