Updated Standards for Homelessness Services Now Available

Best practices in addressing homelessness are now incorporated in COA’s standards for homelessness services

Private // Public // Canadian

In 2015, an estimated 1.48 million individuals experienced sheltered homelessness in the United States, including families with children, youth, veterans, and persons with one or more disability. This number does not account for those living on the street, in cars, tent encampments, parks, hotels and motels, or doubling up with family and friends due to economic hardship. It also does not include the nearly 350,000 individuals living in permanent supportive housing.

To support the organizations serving these vulnerable children, youth, families, and adults, COA collaborated with a panel of experts from the homelessness field, as well as COA accredited organizations, to review and update the Supported Living Services (SCL), Shelter Services (SH), and Outreach Services (OS) standards. 

Renaming and restructuring:

  • SCL has been renamed Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (HSCL) to better reflect the program models assigned this section
  • Transitional Housing programs will be reviewed under Shelter Services (SH) to provide a better program model fit

The updated standards highlight these key best practices:

  • identifying and supporting the needs of children and youth (SH 3, SH 7, HSCL 3, HSCL 4, HSCL 7)
  • supporting pregnant and parenting individuals (SH 9, HSCL 7)
  • safety and inclusiveness for individuals identifying as LGBTQ (SH 3, SH 5, SH 7, SH 8, SH 11, SH 13, HSCL 3, HSCL 6, HSCL 8, HSCL 11, OS 3, OS 5, OS 7)
  • family reconnection and reconciliation for youth (SH 3, SH 12, HSCL 4)
  • trauma-informed care (SH 1, SH 3, SH 13, HSCL 1, HSCL 3, HSCL 11, OS 1, OS 3, OS 7)
  • suicide prevention (SH 3, SH 13, HSCL 3, HSCL 11, OS 3, OS 7)
  • staff training and qualifications (SH 13, HSCL 11, OS 7)

Learn more about these updates:

Private: HSCLSH and OS
Public: PA-HSCL, PA-SH and PA-OS
Canadian: CA-HSCLCA-SH and CA-OS

WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

One Hope United offers a range of services aimed at our mission of "Protecting children and strengthening families" including early childhood education, early intervention and prevention, family preservation, foster care, residential, and adoption.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

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Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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