Emergency shelter and other temporary accommodations are the critical front line of communities’ responses to homelessness, helping all people who seek it meet basic survival needs for shelter, food, clothing, and personal hygiene, while also helping them resolve crises and swiftly secure permanent housing opportunities. These resources can help you make sure your shelters are working effectively to make connections to permanent housing.
Providing Access to Low Barrier Emergency Shelter
- Key Considerations for Implementing Emergency Shelter within an Effective Crisis Response System discusses how shelter can promote dignity and respect for every person, divert people from the homelessness service system when possible, foster low-barrier access to emergency services, and serve as a platform for housing access.
- Using Shelter Strategically to End Homelessness provides four things to consider as you assess the effectiveness of the shelter services in your community.
- The Emergency Shelter Learning Series is a collection of webinars and resources from the National Alliance to End Homelessness focused on explaining the philosophy and practice of effective emergency shelter.
- How Our Shelter Began Focusing on Permanent Housing and Started Ending Homelessness for Our Clients describes how one shelter run by Northern Virginia Family Service shifted to a housing-focused model.
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s webpage links to several resources that reflect what shelter and medical respite providers have learned about providing shelter that is respectful, safe, and healthy for all who seek it.
- The Recovery Housing Policy Brief on HUD-funded Recovery Housing programs, aims to provide clear guidance regarding the expected and effective operation of substance use-specific services, peer support, and physical design features to support individuals and families on a particular path to recovery from addiction.
- Caution is Needed When Considering “Sanctioned Encampments” or “Safe Zones” provides some guidance for communities working to address the immediate safety and living conditions of people who are unsheltered, as they consider sanctioned encampments or safe zones as a part of their response.
Providing access to service-enriched, longer-term temporary accommodations when needed and appropriate.
- Role of Long-Term, Congregate Transitional Housing in Ending Homelessness was developed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in partnership with VA, HHS, HUD, and DOJ’s Office of Violence Against Women.
- Guide to Reviewing Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Projects within the CoC Competition describes how projects serving victims and survivors of domestic violence, including transitional housing projects, can fit into an effective community system.
- Partnering with Hospitals to End Homelessness explores opportunities to partner with hospitals on medical respite programs, among other efforts to end homelessness.