Beginning in 1994, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) encouraged communities to address the problems of housing and homelessness in a coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic fashion. With input from practitioners throughout the country, HUD introduced the Continuum of Care (CoC) concept to support communities in this effort. This concept was designed to help communities develop the capacity to envision, organize, plan comprehensive and long-term solutions to addressing the problem of homelessness in their community.
For years after this, the various providers of services to the homeless in Northeast Tennessee attempted to create their own Continuum of Care. These failed. A lack of cohesiveness, an unwillingness of individual agencies and cities to compromise and work cooperatively were to blame for those failed efforts. In a scenario not uncommon in Northeast Tennessee, and in the homeless service provider community at large, turf wars frustrated the need for cooperative approach to services for the homeless.