United In This Together

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote communitywide goal commitment of ending homelessness. This goal includes providing funding for nonprofit providers’ efforts, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities. Additionally, to promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families, optimizing self-sufficiency.

Recently, when speaking with EM about his new home, he shared just how many people came together to enable him and EM III, his 3-year-old son, to exit homelessness to permanent housing. EM and his son found themselves homeless with little resources and no idea in what direction to turn. EM and EM III moved to Columbus from Florida to help care for an elderly family member but were displaced due to COVID-19. He was a homeless, single father in a new town with depleting resources amid a global pandemic. The enormity of the situation in which EM found himself seemed nearly insurmountable.

EM stated that, once he called 2-1-1 to “see what help I could get,” positive things started happening. That call put in motion the CoC’s foot soldiers on the mission to end this family’s homelessness. Countless individuals from agencies across the community stepped up and stepped in to assist in meeting the family’s needs. And – it took all of us doing what we are best at doing and encouraging our colleagues to do the same. Not one agency nor individual could have met all the needs without the “it takes a village” approach of the Continuum of Care.

EM emotionally recalls those who have assisted and continue to assist his family. The call to 211 resulted in a follow-up with Coordinated Entry and the Salvation Army’s introduction. That interaction led to working with the Housing Authority of Columbus and the Homeless Resource Network. PATH also helped the family navigate the system to access mainstream benefits while Goodwill is providing job training. EM III is enrolled in childcare through Enrichment Services.

Thanks to the partnerships and true collaboration for being United In This Together.