A Study of an Innovative Cross-Sector Collaboration System: The Case of Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Networks (Public Management Research Conference 2018)


This paper examines the impact of Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless service networks across the U.S.—a federally legislated system of cross-sector collaboration to eradicate homelessness.  Specifically, we assess how well this new and innovative system of cross-sector collaboration is working to align diverse community services and resources to improve health and equity for a vulnerable and marginalized population.  Many studies have shown that those experiencing homelessness are at high risk of multiple preventable diseases and also less likely to access health care systems than most other populations.  They also need systems to help with stable housing, reliable transportation, employment opportunities, and a healthy family environment—among other needs.  Thus, the homeless need coordinated systems of community care, and CoCs have emerged as a response.  But to what extent is this novel system working and why?  Drawing primarily on theories of resource dependency and community networks and using a mixed-methods approach, we test whether CoCs that are under resource constraints in terms of funding availability, less than optimal diversity in their partner organizations, and poor quality partnerships, may experience greater challenges in addressing the full spectrum of health needs of their homeless populations.  The study will generate evidence of the degree to which this novel approach to coordinated community services and resources is effective in improving health and equity, and will capture the key factors in successful cross-sector collaborations for the homeless.


Presentations (Oral or Poster)
Valero J, Jang HS