About the CT Balance of State Continuum of Care
CT BOS is a united coalition of private and public-sector service providers with the mission to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut by rapidly connecting those in need to appropriate, low-barrier housing and services to support stability.
By 2020, homelessness in Connecticut will be rare, brief, and unlikely to happen again.
What is a Continuum of Care?
To receive homeless assistance funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) communities are required to establish and maintain a Continuum of Care (CoC). CoCs are responsible for coordinating funding, policies, strategies and activities toward ending homelessness in their region. CoC is also the name of the HUD program that provides funds to end homelessness.
History of CT BOS
Formed more than 20 years ago to help ensure that suburban and rural communities across Connecticut were fully accessing federal funds to address homelessness, CT BOS was one of the nation’s first Balance of State Continuums of Care. Since it’s inception, CT BOS has grown to encompass all areas located in Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven, New London, Windham, Tolland and Middlesex counties. CT BOS now manages a year-round, nearly state-wide planning effort to end homelessness in Connecticut.
What Do We Do?
CT BOS is a coalition of individuals and agencies that assist homeless and near homeless residents to obtain housing, economic stability, and an enhanced quality of life through comprehensive services.
CT BOS plans and oversees use of HUD CoC funding in the following localities: all Cities and towns in the counties of Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven, New London, Windham, Tolland, and Middlesex.
CT BOS receives approximately $34 million in annual funding for more than 100 projects that include transitional housing, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and coordinated entry.
CT BOS identifies and addresses needs of homeless and at-risk people utilizing not only HUD dollars, but also mainstream resources and other sources of funding. This is often achieved through the work of the local planning bodies that are active in many of the covered regions and that help guide the work of CT BOS.
Who Leads the CT Balance of State
Reaching Home is the state-wide campaign to build the political and civic will to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. The RH Campaign’s Coordinating Committee (RHCC) is a diverse coalition working across systems as well as sectors, such as housing, health, education, job training, and food insecurity. The RHCC includes representatives from various constituencies: advocates & intermediaries; government; local planning bodies; people experiencing homelessness; providers of housing and services; philanthropy; and private sector, institutions, and faith communities. The broad base of the RH Coordinating Committee provides the support needed to develop the necessary coalitions at the local, regional and state levels to accomplish the goal of ending homelessness in Connecticut. Members of the RHCC work together to reach consensus on policy changes related to the activities of the Reaching Home Campaign. The RHCC serves as the CoC Board for the CT BOS Continuum of Care.
Reaching Home Coordinating Committee is responsible for the following activities:
- Ensures coordination between CT BOS and the Reaching Home campaign.
- Receives and reviews reports and recommendations from the CT BOS Steering Committee.
- Advises the CT BOS Steering Committee regarding policies aimed at ending homelessness.
- Consistent with the CoC Program Interim Rule, serves as the Board of the CT BOS CoC and delegates all responsibilities for managing the CoC to the CT BOS Steering Committee.
CT BOS is led by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the localities that make up the BOS CoC including CAN reps, AIDS Connecticut, CT Coalition to End Homelessness, CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Partnership for Strong Communities, CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, CT Department of Housing, CT Department of Corrections, CT Housing Finance Agency, CT Department of Education, CT Department of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and a person who has experienced homelessness. The CT BOS Steering committee is a member of the Resources Work Group of the Reaching Home Campaign.
The Steering Committee manages a year-round planning effort that includes:
- Establishing policies and plans toward ending homelessness in the CT BOS region
- Analyzing information to determine needs of people experiencing homelessness in the region
- Establishing priorities for how to use funding made available by HUD
- Setting performance standards and evaluating projects funded through CT BOS
- Monitoring project compliance with HUD and CT BOS requirements
- Offering training and technical assistance to support agencies’ efforts to provide the highest quality services
- Coordinating with other systems and programs serving homeless people
- Educating the community about homelessness