(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—The department shall establish local coalitions to plan, network, coordinate, and monitor the delivery of services to the homeless. Appropriate local groups and organizations involved in providing services for the homeless and interested business groups and associations shall be given an opportunity to participate in such coalitions, including, but not limited to:
(a) Organizations and agencies providing mental health and substance abuse treatment.
(b) County health departments and community health centers.
(c) Organizations and agencies providing food, shelter, or other services targeted to the homeless.
(d) Local law enforcement agencies.
(e) Regional workforce boards.
(f) County and municipal governments.
(g) Local public housing authorities.
(h) Local school districts.
(i) Local organizations and agencies serving specific subgroups of the homeless population, including, but not limited to, those serving veterans, victims of domestic violence, person with HIV/AIDS, and runaway youth.
(j) Local community-based care alliances.
(2) FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL COALITIONS.—Major functions of the local coalitions are to: (a) Develop or assist with the development of the local homeless continuum of care plan, as described in s. 420.624, for the catchment area containing the county or region served by the local homeless coalition. Unless otherwise specified in the plan or as a result of an agreement with another coalition in the same catchment area, the local coalition shall serve as the lead agency for the local homeless assistance continuum of care.
(b) Discuss local issues related to homelessness and the needs of the homeless.
(c) Inventory all local resources for the homeless, including, but not limited to, food assistance, clothing, emergency shelter, low-cost housing, emergency medical care, counseling, training, and employment.
(d) Review and assess all services and programs in support of the homeless and identify unmet needs of the homeless.
(e) Facilitate the delivery of multiagency services for the homeless to eliminate duplication of services and to maximize the use of limited existing resources for the homeless.
(f) Develop new programs and services to fill critical service gaps, if necessary, through reallocation of existing resources for the homeless.
(g) Develop a community resource directory of services available to the homeless for use by agencies, volunteers, information and referral systems, and homeless persons.
(h) Develop public education and outreach initiatives to make homeless persons aware of the services available to them through community agencies and organizations.
(i) Identify and explore new approaches to shelter care for the homeless.
(j) Monitor and evaluate local homeless initiatives to assess their impact, to determine the adequacy of services available through such initiatives, and to identify additional unmet needs of homeless persons.
(k) Collect and compile information relating to the homeless population served and report on a regular basis, but at least annually, such information to the department, as directed by the department.
(l) Develop an annual report detailing the coalition’s goals and activities.
(m) Develop spending plans pursuant to the grant-in-aid program created under s. 420.625. Spending plans shall include a competitive ranking of applications from local agencies eligible for funding pursuant to the provisions of s. 420.625.
(n) Develop a strategy for increasing support and participation from local businesses in the coalition’s programs and activities.
(3) DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES.—The department shall develop guidelines for coalition activities, coalition reports, and development of local plans of action.