Policy & Research
Are you looking for homeless resources in your area? View the MaineHousing Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Resources List available here.
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.
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.
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 Wade, HMIS System Administrator
April Reed, HMIS Application Specialist
Homeless Initiatives uses Bridge, an online Learning Management System (LMS), to deliver training to HMIS End Users. To receive access to training courses, submit a completed HMIS User Agreement form. If you are already an HMIS End User, please contact the HMIS Help Desk for access.
MaineHousing, in partnership with housing assistance agencies throughout the state, offers Housing Choice Vouchers through the Home to Stay Program for individuals and families who are homeless and seeking permanent housing.
Emergency Housing Voucher program is a unique program to help serve individuals and families in Maine who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
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.
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.
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 Tibbitts, CoC Planning & Grants Coordinator Email Me
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.
The STEP Program offers housing subsidy to facilitate the rapid re-housing of individuals and families that meet the HUD homeless status eligibility outlined in 42 USC § 11302 and participating in the Emergency Shelter and Housing Program (ESHAP). MaineHousing collaborates with local service providers to assist in access to and delivery of the program in their community.
The STEP Program is administered by MaineHousing’s Housing Choice Voucher Department according to the Administrative Plan for the Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP) and Maine Rapid Re-Housing Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program (Maine TBRA).
Prior to accessing or applying for STEP Certificates for households, you must receive a certificate for taking the following Annual Training in the Homeless Initiatives Academy:
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.