The Continuum of Care (COC) in Clackamas County Bylaws


As amended on May 28, 2014

Article One: General Purpose

Section 1. Name. The Continuum of Care in Clackamas County referred herein as the "CoC".

Section 2. Mission/Purpose. The CoC is a consortium of individuals and organizations with the common purpose of planning for a housing and services continuum for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. CoC is not a formal advisory council to Clackamas County, although it does operate with County staff support. The CoC Bylaws and organizational structure are required for all funds governed by the Continuum of Care title IV McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act 42 U.S.C. 11301 and the Continuum of Care Program Rule.

The mission of the CoC is to prevent and reduce homelessness in Clackamas County by guiding the Continuum of Care housing programs and services for families and individuals that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, via:

  • Full utilization of mainstream resources
  • Coordination of service delivery and housing systems
  • Systemic agreements and institutional targeting of populations at high risk of homelessness
  • Creative cultivation of new resources
  • Public awareness to foster a collective sense of responsibility

The above mission, developed by the CoC, is based on a set of principles which will permeate its implementation. These principles are:

  • Equity of access to housing and services
  • Choice and self-determination as consistently part of the process
  • Treating people with dignity and respect, regardless of their housing status
  • Culturally competent services
  • Non-judgmental approach to people and their problems throughout the housing and service systems

Article Two: Roles and Responsibilities

Section 1. Members. The members of the CoC will:

  • Identify and advocate for the needs of people who are homeless in Clackamas County
  • Facilitate the development of a continuum of care including housing and services for people who are homeless in Clackamas County
  • Hold regular meetings
  • Invite new members to meetings at least annually
  • Follow the written process to elect a Chair and a Co-Chair
  • Follow the written process to elect a Steering Committee (Governing Board)
  • Appoint additional committees, sub-committees and or workgroups as needed to identify and advocate for the needs of people who are homeless in Clackamas County
  • Maintain and regularly update a Governance Charter (CoC Bylaws)
  • Monitor CoC recipient and subrecipient performance, evaluate services and outcomes and implement corrective action when it is determined that established performance measures are not being met.
  • Engage in CoC Planning, developing short and long term plans to prevent and mitigate homelessness in Clackamas County including system coordination of housing and services for people who are homeless, point in time counts at least biennially, annual homeless needs gaps analysis, providing information for Consolidated Plans, and consulting with ESG providers in Clackamas County
  • Recommend funding priorities for new and renewal projects to be included in the annual application for CoC program funds
  • Designate an eligible applicant to serve as the Collaborative Applicant to submit applications on behalf of the CoC
  • Designate the Collaborative Applicant to act as a Unified Funding Agency (UFA) behalf of the CoC
  • Designate and operate a Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS) provider to maintain the CoC data collection system
  • Establish and operate a Coordinated Assessment system in consultation with Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program providers
  • Establish and follow written standards for providing CoC assistance in consultation with Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program providers

Section 2. Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs of the CoC will:

  • Work with the CoC coordinator to set meeting agendas
  • Facilitate CoC meeting discussions
  • Call for votes as needed
  • Remind members of the CoC purpose and the roles and responsibilities of membership
  • Enforce the provisions of the CoC Bylaws
  • Assign members to CoC subcommittees

Section 3. CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board) Responsibilities. The Governing Board will:

  • Be representative of the relevant organizations and of the projects serving the diversity of people and homeless subpopulations in Clackamas County
  • Evaluate and approve CoC and ESG homeless project performance measures
  • Evaluate and approve CoC and ESG funding priorities
  • Annually evaluate and approve CoC and ESG program policies
  • Follow the CoC Code of Conduct in the CoC Bylaws
  • Analyze homeless program policies and performance data to identify needs, areas for improvement and future program development
  • Assign workgroups, as necessary, to carry out the responsibilities of the CoC
  • Engage in strategic planning of homeless services, programs, funding, goals and, policies

Section 4. CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board) Composition.

The CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board) will have a total of 9 members and be composed of the following members:

  • 2 members of the Homeless Policy Committee (HPC)
  • 2 members of the CoC Homeless Council
  • 2 members of the Clackamas County Department of Health, Housing and Human Services (H3S)
  • 3 members at large (selected by the CoC from the community)
  • A homeless or formerly homeless member (from any of the above)

The CoC Steering Committee will be staffed by the HMIS Administrator and the 2 CoC facilitators.

Section 5. Election Process. After the first election of the CoC board in 2013, in July or August of each odd year (2015, 2017, 2019…), prior to the monthly meeting the CoC Coordinator will distribute a roster of nominees for consideration as the CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board). The nominations shall be discussed and confirmed at the July meeting. At the August meeting the CoC members will vote to accept or reject a slate of Co-Chair and CoC Board member candidates. If needed, the CoC will determine additional meetings to complete the election process.

Section 6. CoC Board terms. All CoC Steering Committee terms will be for two (2) years.

Section 7. CoC Coordinator. The CoC Coordinator is assigned by the HCDD Director to coordinate CoC activities including: maintaining the CoC membership email distribution list; coordinating the CoC annual application for funding; providing support to the CoC Chairs and CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board) by preparing agendas; recording meeting minutes and preparing information for meetings.

Article Three: Members

Section 1. Membership. Membership in CoC is open to interested housing, service, and advocacy organizations. Membership is also open for interested individuals representing the community at large. Member agencies will be responsible for identifying CoC representatives and alternates who may attend when the primary agency representative is unable to attend. Participating agencies may have more than one person identified as a CoC representative.

In April of each year the CoC Coordinator will distribute a list of CoC members.

Section 1.1. Homeless and formerly homeless persons will be encouraged and supported as CoC members to participate in discussions and provide perspective as homeless persons.

Section 2. Voting Rights. Each member organization and community at large member who has participated in at least 3 meetings in the preceding 12 months shall have one vote at subsequent meetings on each matter submitted to a vote of CoC members. The Chair, Co-Chair and members will recuse themselves from any vote that would directly benefit the agency they represent. To the maximum extent possible, the CoC meetings shall operate on a consensus basis. However, members can request a vote on specific issues. Agencies with more than one representative in attendance will determine in advance which representative will vote. In the instance when an alternate is serving in the place of the member agency's primary representative, the alternate shall have the right to vote. In all cases, each member organization only has one vote.

Section 3. Co-Chair Terms. There will be one "private sector" leadership position and one "public" (government) leadership position and each position will have a staggered 2-year term.

Article Four: Meeting Schedule

Section 1. Regular Meetings. The regular CoC meetings will be scheduled on a monthly basis with exceptions being decided by the membership and the coordinator.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be scheduled when it is determined by the membership that a special meeting is necessary.

Section 3. Notice of Meetings. The Coordinator will ensure that CoC members are notified prior to regular and special meetings and provided with the date, time and location of the meeting, an agenda and any additional information required for the meeting.

Section 4. Quorum. The quorum for a meeting of the CoC shall be the number of agencies and individuals present and eligible to vote at the meeting. Action will be taken by an affirmative vote of the majority of the agencies and individuals present at the meeting and eligible to vote.

Section 5. Resignation. Member agencies may resign by sending a letter of resignation to the Coordinator.

Section 6. Action Items. Action items to be voted on during regular or special CoC meetings must be included in the agenda provided to CoC members prior to the scheduled meeting. No action items may be added after the agenda is sent to members. If it is determined during the course of a meeting that additional items shall require a vote of the CoC, these items will be scheduled for action at the next regular or special meeting.

Section 7. CoC Board Meetings. CoC Steering Committee (Governing Board) meetings will be held at least quarterly and as needed to accomplish the mission and purpose of the CoC.

Article Five: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year for the CoC shall begin on the 1st day of July in each year and end at midnight on the 30th day of June of the following year.

Article Six: Special Committees

As needed, special committees shall be set up to research issues, develop particular projects and/or make recommendations on issue of interest to the CoC.

Article Seven: Recordkeeping

Records of all the CoC meetings shall be kept and will include dates, attendees and minutes.

Article Eight: Amendment to Bylaws

These Bylaws may be revised or amended at any regular or special meeting of the CoC by the review of members present, except as otherwise provided for in the Bylaws; provided that copies of the proposed revisions or amendments shall have been available, specifically identified for CoC review, to each CoC member at least two weeks prior to the regular or special meeting at which the proposed revisions or amendments are to be acted upon. Once members have been provided opportunity to review and comment, the CoC Steering Committee will be responsible for voting on all revisions.

Article Nine: Code of Conduct

All members, Co-Chairs and Steering Committee (Governing Board) Members will uphold the following Code of Conduct:

  • The Co-Chairs, Board Members and Members will declare any conflicts of interest prior to voting on CoC business
  • All Members will demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fortitude
  • All Members will present themselves and their agencies in a professional and ethical manner when conducting CoC business

Article Ten: CoC Corrective Actions Process

When a Clackamas County Continuum of Care homeless program project /agency is reviewed by the CoC or a subcommittee thereof and, determined to be under-performing based on established performance measures, that project/agency will notified in writing and placed on probation for at least six months.

During the probationary period, the project/agency will be provided with additional technical assistance by the CoC Coordinator, County HMIS administrator, CoC Peer agencies and when available, the HUD Field Office staff. The project/agency will be responsible for requesting specific assistance in low scoring performance areas and requesting any additional clarifications from the CoC if the project/agency staff persons do not understand the scoring process, criteria and/or performance measures.

If after six months of probation, the project/agency continues to under-perform based on established performance measures, the project/agency may lose HUD funding and may be ranked low in the Continuum of Care annual application for funding. The project/agency may submit a plan of correction to request an additional 6 months of probation. Acceptance of the plan of correction will be at the discretion of the CoC.

Article Eleven: Designated Homeless Management Information System Provider

The Clackamas County Housing and Community Development Division (HCDD) is designated as the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS) provider to maintain the CoC data collection system.

Article Twelve: Designated Collaborative Applicant and Unified Funding Agency

The Clackamas County Housing and Community Development Division (HCDD) is designated as the CoC Collaborative Applicant when completing the CoC funding application. The Housing and Community Development Division is also designated the CoC Unified Funding Agency if funds become available to support this CoC financial administrative function.

Article Thirteen: Decision Making Process

When an item (initiative, proposal, process, etc,), which will affect the entire continuum is brought before the CoC or Steering Committee for decision, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Item will initially be reviewed by the Steering Committee and CoC Chair and Co-Chair.
  2. Item will be provided to the CoC, specifically identified for CoC review, to each CoC member at least two weeks prior to the regular or special meeting at which the proposed revisions or amendments are to be acted upon.
  3. After the CoC and CoC Chair and Co-Chair have been given an opportunity to provide feedback, item will be voted on by the CoC Steering Committee or feedback will be addressed and the item will be brought back to the CoC for additional review.