• DOWNTOWN TASK FORCE being initiated

    DOWNTOWN TASK FORCE being initiated

    Monday, October 17 at 6:30 pm, Spruce Street Methodist Church, across from the Library

    An open meeting to begin building a collaborative, community-wide effort to improve the quality of life downtown.

    Click here for more information.

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    Homelessness is very expensive

    Persons who are homeless, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, cost the community a great deal of money in the form of public services and health care.

The Need

Research has shown that it costs far less to provide housing and support to homeless persons than to let them remain homeless, which costs the community money expended on law enforcement, ambulance services, emergency room visits, un-reimbursed hospital costs, substance abuse, jail costs, and emergency shelter expenses.

Do the Math

In the fiscal year 2012-2013, Ruby Memorial Hospital absorbed more than $1.6 million dollars in un-reimbursed medical care for persons who were homeless at the time of admission. With a fraction of that amount, we could end homelessness in the community.

Research from other communities indicates that these costs can be significantly reduced by providing chronically homeless persons with housing, resulting in a more human existence for homeless individuals at a significant savings to the community.

  • Seattle

    $2,500 per month per person in health and social services alone

  • Rhode Island

    Annual savings of $8,839 per person

  • Los Angeles

    40% cheaper to provide housing

  • Chicago

    Use of hospital and emergency room cut in half

The Plan

zero to 2016 graphic

Our goal is to end veteran homlelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016 in the Monongalia County.

What is Zero: 2016?

Zero: 2016 is a national movement of 71 communities working to end veteran and chronic homelessness within the next two years. The effort is being coordinated by Community Solutions, a national nonprofit based in New York City. The initiative is a rigorous follow-on to the group's successful 100,000 Homes Campaign, in which 186 communities housed 105,000 chronically homeless Americans in under four years. Morgantown was selected for Zero: 2016 through a competitive, national application process. The goal is to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.

Key Tasks


Establish a Day Center, to provide a central point of entry into homelessness services in the community


Create a process to meet the unique needs of rural persons


Develop a task force to address the need for more extensive addiction recovery and mental health services in Monongalia County

It takes a community

community icon

Everyone in the community has both a humane interest and a financial stake in reducing homelessness.

The number of persons experiencing homelessness is tracked by our annual Point in Time count each January.

January, 2012: 124

January, 2013: 120

January, 2014: 88

January, 2015: 83

October, 2015: 67

Since July 1, 2015, we have housed 146 people. And since we began our coordinated community-wide approach in 2013, the total of persons experiencing homelessness has been cut in half.

We are making a difference. With your help, we can do even more!

Our initial success in this first year of coordinated effort to help people find housing shows that with community participation and cooperation, homelessness can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated.

We can reduce costs significantly by providing chronically homeless persons with housing.

About CCOH

The Coordinating Council on Homelessness exists to coordinate community-wide efforts to reduce homelessness in the Monongalia County region. Together, we work to develop a common agenda among service providers by assisting all agencies with facilities for continuous and open communication. We also advocate on behalf of persons experiencing homelessness, and promote community awareness and involvement.


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    CLASS OF 2016

    Jerrey Hoyt
    Tom Bloom
    Lindsey Rinehart

  • 2017.jpg

    CLASS OF 2017

    Laura Jones, Vice-Chair
    George Lilley, Chair
    Bob Musick
    Lillian Arnold

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    CLASS OF 2018

    Marti Shamberger
    Nelda Kimble
    Tim Allen


    John Sonnenday

Council Responsibilities

The Council is responsible for setting policy, hiring and overseeing staff, developing community support, and raising operating funds. It meets monthly.

The Council has two key Work Groups reporting to it: The Summit on Homelessness: the executives of the service agencies or their representatives. It is responsible for inter-agency cooperation and recommending policies and procedures to the Council. It meets every other month or more often as needed. The Multi-Disciplinary Team: those working directly with clients. It meets once a week.



"The CCOH has served as a mechanism of social responsibility for our community by bringing together social service organizations, governmental agencies, private enterprise and community members to recognize that homelessness is a community problem which requires a community effort to address."

Keri DeMasi

Executive Director, Bartlett House

"Under the Council's leadership, we are now truly working together as a team, and we are making more progress on reducing homelessness than ever before."

Laura Jones

Executive Director, Milan Puskar Health Right

"CCOH is a vital resource to reduce homelessness in Monongalia County. Service providers have struggled for years to be consistent and effective; this collaboration allows that to happen. We no longer stand alone in the community."

Sharon Wood

Executive Director, Caritas House

"I am pleased to be writing this endorsement of CCOH and how extremely important it is to MHA of Mon County to continue its collaborating efforts on reducing homelessness in our community. This collaboration is leading to more people achieving self-sufficiency. And this is a fact!"

Roberta Shoaff

Executive Director, Friendship Room