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Homelessness in California
State Government and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Need to Strengthen Their Efforts to Address Homelessness

Report Number: 2017-112

Response to the Survey From —
Marin County CoC


HUD provides two lists of California Continuum of Care (CoC) key contacts: one for Northern California and one for Southern California.
You can find these lists at
  1. Enter the CoC number for which you are completing the survey.

  2. Enter the CoC name for which you are completing the survey.

    Marin County CoC

  3. Enter the organization within the CoC that you represent.

    Marin County Health and Human Services (Collaborative Applicant)

  4. What type of organization do you represent?.

  5. How many staff (full-time equivalents) does your organization employ?


  6. Does your organization provide homeless services directly for clients?

    Behavioral and mental health services; public benefits; info line

  7. Are you a direct recipient on your CoC's HUD application?
  8. Approximately what percentage of the funding your organization administers is from HUD for the CoC program?


  9. If not your organization, is there another organization in your CoC that administers the majority of homeless services funding?

  10. Does your CoC conduct an unsheltered Point-in-Time (PIT) count annually? (Including those years not required by HUD)
  11. In which year did your CoC begin conducting an annual unsheltered PIT count?

  12. Why did your CoC decide to conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count?

  13. What funding sources do you use to conduct the annual unsheltered PIT count? (Check all that apply.)

  14. How did your CoC facilitate the annual unsheltered PIT count?
    (For example, did you increase the number of volunteers, or find additional funding?)

  15. Did your organization have any challenges in implementing an annual unsheltered PIT count?

  16. How has conducting an annual unsheltered PIT count affected your CoC's operations and/or outcomes? If you have any data or analyses, please share specific metrics.

  17. Why does your CoC not conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count? (Check * all that apply)


    lack of will from providers

  18. Please elaborate on the reasons why your CoC does not conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count.

    Marin is a geographically large county with significant open space that is difficult and expensive to canvas. Local providers and County staff see PIT data as interesting but not useful enough to justify the expense (County) or time (providers). We are working on other methods of data collection (HMIS, by-name list) to provide more useful, more accurate data.

  19. What would cause your CoC to conduct an unsheltered PIT count in the years not required by HUD?

    Because of local provider resistance and our reliance on them for hotspotting and recruiting guides, it is unlikely we would ever conduct an unsheltered PIT if not required by HUD.

  20. What sources does your organization use to fund the HUD-required PIT count of unsheltered homeless? (Check all that apply)


  21. How much did your CoC's 2017 PIT count cost?

  22. How many people did your CoC require to conduct its 2017 PIT count? (Staff, volunteers, and others)


  23. How many of those identified in Question 22 were volunteers?


  24. Does your CoC recruit volunteers for its unsheltered PIT count from organizations outside the homeless services community?

    Advertised to the general community (newspaper, NextDoor) and County employees

  25. Please share your perspective on the reasons your CoC's unsheltered homeless population in 2017 did or did not change from that in its previous unsheltered PIT count.

    The biggest change was a significant reduction in homeless youth, which we believe was the result of improved methodology. Most of our subpopulations (families, veterans, chronically homeless, single adults) rose slightly, which we attribute to a lack of permanent supportive housing and skyrocketing rents.

  26. Has your CoC reallocated funding in the past?

    The CoC reallocated funding from underperforming projects per HUD's guidance. We also had several transitional housing projects voluntarily reallocate in favor of permanent supportive housing.

  27. How often does your CoC reevaluate final priority rankings for the HUD CoC Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), based on HUD priorities?

  28. How often does your CoC perform the following gap analyses?

    Housing gap analysis—We are currently doing one

    Funding gap analysis—

    Service gap analysis—Ongoing

    Other (please specify)—

  29. In what year did your CoC perform each of the following for the first time, or leave the row blank if it is not applicable.

    Housing gap analysis

    Funding gap analysis

    Service gap analysis

    Other (as you identified in question 27)

  30. Does your CoC employ specific strategies for identifying alternative funding for programs that are reallocated or do not receive HUD funding?

  31. Does your CoC have a strategic plan that integrates other publicly-funded programs that provide services, housing, and income supports to poor persons whether they are homeless or not (mainstream benefits and services)?

  32. Please provide a web address to your CoC's most recent strategic plan or email it as an attachment to

  33. When did your CoC complete its first strategic plan?


  34. How often does your CoC update its strategic plan?

    The actions arising from the strategic plan are updated on an ongoing basis. The overall plan is updated roughly every 5 years.

  35. How has your strategic plan benefited your CoC?

    We have found the strategic plan to be minimally beneficial to the CoC. The result of our strategic planning process was that all subpopulations were prioritized (chronically homeless, families, DV, veterans, rapid rehousing), and if all are prioritized none are actually prioritized. Efforts to create and update action plans were met with frustration over the amount of effort and time dedicated to planning rather than action, as well as resistance to any actions that did not benefit a an agency's specific population and defensiveness at any suggestion that agencies were failing to meet client needs for any reason other than lack of resources. Because the CoC has no independent authority to implement the strategic plan, there was no way to push anything through. We have found that instituting individual efforts as PDSA cycles has been much more effective at improving outcomes and creating systems change.

  36. Why has your CoC not developed a strategic plan?

  37. What grant-seeking or fundraising activities does your CoC engage in?

    CoC and ESG program applications are the only grant-seeking activities our CoC engages in on the CoC level. County HHS works with our providers independently and collaboratively to identify and apply for local, state, and federal funding opportunities.

  38. Are there any strategies or unique actions your agency takes that have strengthened your CoC?

    County HHS has worked closely with our Housing Authority to create programs that have dramatically improved housing outcomes, including hiring a dedicated housing locator and providing services for up to 50 new section 8 vouchers each year to create new permanent supportive housing. HHS also fully pays for all HMIS licenses for any provider who wants them, meaning we have extensive HMIS data for almost all our housing and supportive services programs for people experiencing homelessness

  39. Please provide any information about these strategies or actions.
    Feel free to provide web addresses to any reports or email them as attachments to

    The housing authority's housing locator and landlord partnership program have recruited 70 NEW landlords for Section 8 and homeless housing vouchers.

  40. If you have any additional perspective or concerns, please provide this information in the space below.
    For example, if you would like to share additional information regarding homelessness, services, or funding.

    I would encourage any state programs targeting homelessness to align with federal best practices and requirements for homelessness such as coordinated entry and HMIS use, but to also consider looking at places where federal funding falls short, such as housing people with extended periods of homelessness who don't meet the federal definition of chronic homelessness because of extended stays in jail, treatment, or transitional housing.

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