Public and private homeless service providers have been working together to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the Richmond region since the mid- 1990’s. In the late 1990’s, a diverse group of stakeholders came together under the auspices of the Richmond Task Force on Homelessness to create Homeward as a planning and coordinating entity. The group that was to become Homeward submitted the first regional funding application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1997.
Under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, HUD has asked communities to formalize their community planning processes and to establish a Continuum of Care board in order to guide the operations of the CoC. The Continuum of Care (CoC) was designed to address homelessness through a coordinated community-based process of identifying needs and building a system of housing and services to address those needs. The Greater Richmond CoC approved it's bylaws in July 2013.