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How it’s currently funded.

There are two primary types of funding the Memphis community receives in its mission to end homelessness. Both of them are federal sources awarded by the Deparment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through competition (aka a grant application).

Continuum of Care (CoC) Funding1

CoC funds are applied for by the lead agency in the Memphis’ Continuum of Care. Currently, the lead agency is Community Alliance for the Homeless.

The lead agency applies for and receives funding each year and awards these funds to service providers who support Housing First principles and are active participants in the CoC’s strategy to end homelessness.

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Funding2

ESG funds are applied for and awarded to the City of Memphis’ Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

In consultation with the CoC, HCD awards these funds to service providers who are equipped to carry out the eligible activies.


1 CoC funds can be used, with limitation, for the following activities*:
  • Coordinated Entry
  • Rapid Rehousing
  • Permanent Supportive Housing

2 ESG funds can be used, with limitation, for the following activities*:
  • Street Outreach
  • Homeless Prevention
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Rapid Rehousing

*Other activies include funding administrative costs up to a nominal percent, and funding the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which is a standardized database responsible for recording all funded activity.

What about public housing? Housing authorities nationally do not have regular funds to help support their communities at this time. Their work is primarily centered on overseeing existing units of public housing and turning them over to those on a waitlist (currently two years long in Memphis). However, MHA also works to distribute housing vouchers, in conjunction with many providers.

What about city funds?
The City of Memphis works as a pass-through for several federal funding streams, such as ESG, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), or Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). However, it is responsible for matching these funds up to a certain percent through either state streams or municipal allocations.

What about private donations?Funds that are given directly to service providers, by foundations or individuals, help supplement both operational and programmatic costs as well as provide valuable addition to match funds an agency may be responsible for contributing. Yet, federal dollars will continue to play the largest role.