What is the St. Louis City Continuum of Care (CoC)?

The St. Louis City Continuum of Care (CoC) is a membership-based coalition of social service organizations and affiliated groups and individuals who aim to end homelessness in our region.

The CoC’s approach to ending homelessness involves agency specific services as well as the efforts of like-minded individuals. These services can include: assessment of regional needs, quality control and review of services available to those experiencing homelessness and implementation of best practices within these services. The CoC also makes efforts to recruit members of the public, consumers, and providers in identifying impactful issues while promoting legislative awareness.

How is the CoC implementing best practices right now in the region?

The CoC looks to accomplish its mission by utilizing the Coordinated Entry. This system is a best practice used to accurately determine the most efficient and effective services for people who are homeless or at risk. Pivotal to the Coordinated Entry process is having all housing assessments done through a centralized location, or a “front door”, using the same assessment tool to indicate appropriate services.

What is Housing First?

Part of the CoC’s commitment to best practices is ensuring member agencies implement Housing First practices. is Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible – and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed.

Why Housing First?

Put simply: It works. Studies have shown that those communities who implement Housing First strategies have successfully helped people achieve self-sufficiency and get out of homelessness.