ECHO is dedicated to planning, prioritizing, and developing strategies to end homelessness in Austin, TX. Austin has a diverse homeless population that includes individual men and women as well as families with children. ECHO is the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development Lead Agency for the Austin/Travis County Continuum of Care (CoC).
What is a CoC? A CoC is a collaborative funding and planning entity that assists the community in providing a full range [continuum] of outreach, prevention, emergency, transitional, permanent supportive housing and other services to address homelessness. ECHO is the official body representing a community plan that organizes and delivers housing and services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Tasks of the CoC include:
- Establishing roles and responsibilities of the CoC including group process to govern and conduct business (agendas, meeting facilitation, committees, etc.);
- Establishing strategic plans and coordination with other planning efforts;
- Maintaining goals, objectives and action steps;
- Collaborating with mainstream housing and service programs.
- Increasing membership participation of varied stake-holders, including consumers;
- Collaborating with systems of care to address needs of consumers and providers;
- Conducting broad project monitoring and rating and review based on CoC priorities;
- Approving the final CoC NOFA application submission; and
- Ensuring CoC data collections efforts are completed through direct oversight of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
What is homelessness?
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development definition of homelessness includes four categories:
1. People who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or are exiting an institution where they temporarily resided if they were in shelter or a place not meant for
human habitation before entering the institution.
2. People who are losing their primary nighttime residence, which may include a motel or hotel or a doubled up
situation, within 14 days and lack resources or support networks to remain in housing.
3. Families with children or unaccompanied youth who are unstably housed and likely to continue in that state. This is a new category of homelessness, and it applies to families with children or unaccompanied youth (up to age 24) who have not had a lease or ownership interest in a housing unit in the last 60 or more days, have had two or more moves in the last 60 days, and who are likely to continue to be unstably housed because of
disability or multiple barriers to employment.
4. People who are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other
dangerous or life‐threatening situations related to violence; have no other residence; and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.