Athens Homeless Coalition

About Us


Our Mission

The Athens-Clarke County Homeless Coalition: Continuum of Care works to ensure collaborative planning, educational opportunities, technical assistance, resource development, and program advocacy for homeless service providers while assisting both directly and indirectly, the homeless population in Athens-Clarke County.


Who we serve 

Our service providers work with individuals experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.

Literal homelessness is defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as an "individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:

(i) has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation;

(ii) is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state and local government programs); or

(iii) is exiting an institution where (s)he has resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution."

Imminent Risk of Homelessness is defined by HUD as an "individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence, provided that:

(i) residence will be lost within 14 days of that date of application for homeless assistance;

(ii) no subsequent residence has been identified; and

(iii)the individual or family lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing."

Homeless Under other Federal Statutes is defined by HUD as an "unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth, who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition, but who:

(i) are defined as homeless under the other listed federal statutes; 

(ii) have not had a lease, ownership interest, or occupancy agreement in permanent housing during the 60 days prior to the homeless assistance application; 

(iii) have expereienced persistent instability as measured by two moves or more during the preceding 60 days; and

(iv) can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time due to special needs or barriers."

Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence is defined by HUD as "any individual or family who:

(i) is fleeing, or is attempting to flee, domestic violence;

(ii) has no other residence; and

(iii) lacks the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing."


Who we are

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development developed a Continuum of Care Program.  A Continuum of Care (CoC) is a regional or local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals. The Athens-Clarke County CoC is responsible for applying for CoC funds.

The Athens Homeless Coalition (AHC) functions as the Athens-Clarke County Continuum of Care. AHC membership consists of stakeholders working on issues of homelessness and poverty. The AHC Executive Committee and Membership Board functions as the governing board; the Athens-Clarke County Housing and Community Development Department serves as the Collaborative Applicant, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs serves as the state's HMIS (Homeless Management Information Systems) lead. 

CoC Structure.jpg
Federal Homless Program Funding Streams.jpg

What is a CoC?

  • It is the spectrum of services and resources available in a community to prevent and end homelessness.
  • A federal homeless assistance grant funding permanent housing programs (permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing) awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • A Designated geographic area that applies directly to HUD for CoC funding and is tasked with numerous responsibilities related to the entire community's response to homelessness.
  • Promotes community-wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness.

CoC Membership Examples

  • Homeless Service Providers
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Persons Who are Homeless/Formerly Homeless
  • Local Governments
  • School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities
  • Hospitals
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Law Enforcement
  • Affordable Housing Developers
  • Universities
  • Social Service Providers
  • Advocates

For further information and to ask questions regarding federal guidelines for CoCs, please access the HUD Exchange Ask a Question page here.


Our Responsibilities

  • Hold Full Membership Meetings of the CoC
  • Annual Public invitation for new members
  • Draft Governing Board Selection Process
  • Appoint Additional Committees, Subcommittees or Workgroups
  • Develop and annually update a governance charter (including HMIS policies) and a code of conduct and recusal process for the board
  • Establish performance targets for CoC and ESG funded projects, monitor performance, and take action against poor performing projects
  • Establish a coordinated entry system and develop specific policies to guide that system
  • With ESG recipients, establish and consistently follow written standards for providing Continuum of Care assistance

Meetings and Membership

  • Hold Meetings of the full Coalition membership, with published agendas, at least semiannually
  • Make an invitation for new members to join publicly available within the geographic area at least annually
  • Adopt and follow a written process to select a board to act on behalf of the Continuum of Care. The process must be reviewed, updated and approved by the CoC at least once every 5 years.

System and Performance

  • Consult with recipients and subrecipients to establish performance targets
  • Monitor recipient and subrecipient performance
  • Evaluate outcomes and report to HUD
  • Take action against poor performers