Homeless Initiatives

Are you looking for homeless resources in your area?  View the MaineHousing Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Resources List available here.  

General Contact Info

Lauren Bustard, Senior Director of Programs
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Leah Bruns, Manager of Homeless Initiatives
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To enroll in the Homeless Initiatives Academy please complete this Training Request Form file download icon and email it the contact below:

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 Data & Reports

MaineHousing collects various forms of data from our partners through the Maine Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and agency administrative data. Using HMIS and administrative data the dashboards in this section display this information to parameters defined by the CoC, HUD, and MaineHousing.

 Emergency Shelter and Housing Assistance Program (ESHAP)

MaineHousing provides grants to emergency shelters and agencies serving people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This funding is allocated to sub-recipients as the Emergency Shelter and Housing Assistance Program (ESHAP), and is made up of three shares: Shelter Operations Share, Stabilization Share, and Performance Share.

 Financial (under construction)

This section is currently under construction. Check back later for updates.


The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that every Continuum of Care work together to implement a shared data system designed to provide an un-duplicated count of homeless individuals, information on the number of people who are homeless, related demographics, and their needs over time. In Maine, development of an HMIS system is part of a larger strategic vision and dedicated statewide system which will allow agencies to share information for the purpose of better serving the needs of people who are homeless.

Mary WadeHMIS System Administrator
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Amanda CastnerHMIS Application Specialist 
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Maine HMIS maintains their own website at: www.MaineHMIS.org
You can connect with the Maine HMIS team directly at: EmailIcon16  Email Me
If you are in need of Training Resources please email EmailIcon16  Email Me 

Homeless Initiatives uses Canvas to deliver our online training. To receive access to any of the training modules or courses listed below please fill out the HMIS new user form. If you are already an HMIS please contact the helpdesk directly for access.

 Home To Stay

MaineHousing links Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds with Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP) funds and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to create the Home to Stay Program (HTS). HTS vouchers are available through ESHAP Grantees as funds remain available. HTS is for individuals and families who are homeless and seeking permanent housing. More information is available on the full program page.

 Maine Continuum of Care (MCoC)

What is a Continuum of Care?
A Continuum of Care is a group of service providers in a particular geographic area who work together in a collaborative planning process to develop programs that address homelessness. Continuums can apply to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for McKinney-Vento funding to support these programs. Local agencies wishing to access these funds must do so through their Continuum’s annual CoC NOFA application process. Continuum of Care funds may be used for projects under five program components: Permanent Housing, Transitional Housing, Supportive Services, HMIS, and, in some limited cases, Homelessness Prevention.

The Maine Continuum of Care (MCOC) covers the entire State of Maine and supports projects throughout the region. The mission of the MCOC is to plan and coordinate an inclusive system that helps Maine people avoid or exit quickly from homelessness, and to address the underlying causes of homelessness. Applying for HUD CoC funding is one way to work toward that goal. The 2017 MCOC NOFA Application brought $12,932,975 to the state.


MCOC Membership

The Maine Continuum of Care has open membership for all individuals and/or organizations within the State of Maine that have an interest in, and subscribe to, the mission and policies of the MCOC and who, through their participation, will contribute to MCOC’s ability to carry out its mission. Membership is free and is open to the public. There are usually about 30 different organizations represented at any given meeting, ranging from state government agencies to small non-profit grassroots groups. 

Each member of the MCOC is a vital link in a collaborative community network, and as such, shares in ideas, concerns and decisions regarding the development, and deployment of resources to address the needs of people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. Organizations that receive CoC or ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) funding are expected to be members in good standing of their local Continuum of Care in order to continue to be eligible for funding. To be in good standing, and eligible to vote at MCOC, an organization must have been represented during at least 6 of the previous 12 regular meetings.

MCOC Meetings

The Maine Continuum of Care meets regularly on the third Thursday of each month from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Because MCOC is a statewide entity and wants to encourage and support participation from all areas of the state, meetings utilize a video teleconferencing system to connect up to seven different meeting sites, located at MaineHousing and at several Public Libraries. There is also a phone in option for those not able to travel to one of the teleconferencing locations.

Please visit www.mainehomelessplanning.org where you will more information about MCOC and other topics related to homelessness in Maine. We encourage everyone to subscribe this site (by simply providing an email address) in order to receive automatic notices whenever new information is made available, such as meeting reminders, agendas, minutes, and other materials. There are currently more than 1600 subscribers!

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact:  Scott TibbittsCoC Planning & Grants Coordinator    EmailIcon16  Email Me 

Additional Information: 

  • HUD Continuum of Care Information
  • MCOC Structure
    • Governance
      • The MCOC Governance outlines the rules and processes the group has agreed to follow in order to function as smoothly and effectively as possible.
    • Committees
      • MCOC relies on a number of committees to focus on particular tasks, topics, or populations. Detailed descriptions of each standing committee are included in the MCOC Governance
    • CoC Board of Directors
      • The efforts of the MCOC are overseen and guided by our Board of Directors.
    • Collaborative Applicant
      • HUD requires that each Continuum of Care appoint a Collaborative Applicant to organize, assemble, and submit all the various components of the annual NOFA Application, including Project level and Continuum wide level information, on behalf of the Continuum. MCOC has approved MaineHousing to fulfill this role. In addition to the work directly related to the application process, MaineHousing provides ongoing clerical, administrative, and logistical support to MCOC.
  • Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)


MaineHousing is responsible for monitoring subrecipient agencies for compliance. MaineHousing program officers conduct annual monitoring of programs, as well as ongoing compliance consultation as needed. Contained in this section is what you need to know in order to be ready for a monitoring visit.


MaineHousing is always looking at new ways to innovate in serving the homeless population of Maine. To that end, MaineHousing will initiate pilot programs to test the feasibility of new programs. Currently, MaineHousing has one pilot program, Pathways to Opportunity (PTO). PTO is a program for homeless youth aged 18-25 which assists them in educational and vocational goals.

  • PTO Program (under construction)
  • Contact Info
    • Michael ShaughnessyHomeless Program Officer
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 Stability Through Engagement Program / Tenant Based Rental Assistance       (STEP / TBRA)

STEP is designed to provide short term rental assistance to rapidly re-house individuals and families who meet the federal definition of homelessness. STEP is administered directly through the shelters participating in the ESHAP program. The STEP Program is currently offered in ten counties.

Prior to accessing or applying for the STEP/TBRA Vouchers for households, you must receive a certificate for taking the following Annual Training in the Homeless Initiatives Academy. This requirement will not be implemented till June 2018.
     - Annual Stability Through Engagement & Tenant Based Rental Assistance (STEP/TBRA) 101 Module
     - Fair Housing 101 (Under Construction)
     - Annual RentSmart Training (Under Construction)
     - Annual MaineHousing ESHAP Training
In order to be eligible for this program you must be working with a housing navigator. 

Homeless Academy


 Statewide Homeless Council

The Statewide Homeless Council is designed to coordinate and establish statewide policies on homelessness, including providing leadership to end homelessness, developing an educational campaign, and making policy and program recommendations to the Governor, Legislature, and MaineHousing. Other members are the Director of MaineHousing and three representatives from each of the three regions of the state.

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