PRESS RELEASE: Bold Steps to Address Homelessness in 2023, Community Support Needed for Functional Zero

January 4, 2024

Central Mississippi, January 2, 2024 — In an unwavering commitment to eradicating homelessness, the Central MS Continuum of Care (CoC) proudly announces significant strides in its mission to provide aid and support to those experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Central Mississippi.

The CoC collaborated with local homeless service providers and government agencies to make a tangible impact on the lives of over 4,300 individuals during 2023. This collective effort demonstrates the power of community collaboration and the potential to create lasting change.

While celebrating these accomplishments, the CoC acknowledges the recently released 2023 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report underscores Mississippi's commendable reduction in homelessness, however, it also emphasizes the ongoing challenges that demand continued attention and concerted action.

The Central MS CoC refuses to rely solely on once-a-year "snapshot" counts, recognizing the limitations of such data. Instead, the CoC is committed to a real-time approach to measuring homelessness. Every person experiencing homelessness is documented in a comprehensive file, capturing vital information such as their name, homeless history, health, and housing needs. This innovative method allows for data-driven decision-making, efficient resource prioritization and allocation, and, most importantly, ensures no one is left behind.

In the pursuit of Functional Zero, the CoC emphasizes the crucial role of data in making the invisible visible. By understanding the full scale and complexity of homelessness, the community can develop targeted and effective solutions. The CoC calls on individuals, businesses, and policymakers to be a part of the solution, making a collective effort to address the challenges faced by the homeless population.

Data is necessary to make sure that neighbors who have been invisible are visible and receive the support they need. It creates accountability for ensuring that our community’s homeless response system is driving toward Functional Zero and producing equitable outcomes along the way. It ensures that critical investments, like affordable housing, are connected to those who need it.

As the need for homes becomes increasingly urgent, the CoC urges the community to recognize the rising challenges of rents and mortgages outpacing income. Homelessness prevention and intervention are vital components of the solution, requiring not only housing options but also comprehensive wrap-around services to rebuild lives.

The CoC extends a heartfelt call to action, urging the community's support in achieving Functional Zero. This ambitious goal envisions a homeless response system that can prevent homelessness whenever possible and, if it does occur, ensures it is rare, brief, and only happens once.

Together, we can build a Central Mississippi where everyone has a place to call home. Join us in making a difference today.

About Central MS Continuum of Care:

The Central MS Continuum of Care (CoC) is a collaborative network of organizations and individuals working together to address homelessness in Central Mississippi. Our mission is to end homelessness and strive to create a community where homeless individuals have equal access to all resources needed to become self-sufficient while maintaining full self-determination. For more information, visit

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