A Guide To Homeless Shelters

A Guide To Homeless Shelters

Homelessness is the result of a series of symptoms It does not define a person.It is and can be a real challenge locating a safe place to stay. Especially if you are homeless or about to be homeless

According to data compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more than 500,000 homeless Americans in the United States with over 65 percent staying in homeless shelters. To further put this into context, 17 out of every 10,000 people in America experienced at least one night of homelessness during 2018.

It is also worth noting that the overwhelming majority of homelessness is concentrated in six states, New York, California, Texas, Florida, and Washington.

To say that the prospect of being homeless is terrifying would be a gross understatement. Statistically speaking, most people are a paycheck away from being homeless. The same applies to those struggling with mental illness or substance abuse.

In this article, I will detail a few things that everyone should know about staying in a homeless shelter, everything from safety to finding a one that is right for you.

Find Shelter or Housing

If you are newly (or nearly) homeless, first and foremost you need a safe place to rest your weary head. Shelter and safety – and sleep – are paramount when it comes to your survival, There are several resources available to those who find themselves in such dire circumstances.

This list provides you with multiple resources for housing as well as food and healthcare if you find yourself homeless.

There are shelters for men only, women only, women and children only, youth or senior shelters, family shelters – even shelters that allow you to bring your pet. With a little preparation and knowledge, the possibilities of your safety and comfort are plentiful.

Further resources can be found on the Homeless Shelter Directory, where you can find information about dental clinics, free clinics, treatment centers for addictions recovery and support, rental assistance, childcare and food pantries and other meal resources.

In many of the programs and services listed in this article, you will be asked questions about the severity of your situation. And assess your needs including how emergent they may be.

Due to demand, you may not be admitted to your shelter of choice. As beds are generally reserved for those with the highest need. There are many shelters, however, so with some persistence you should be able to locate one to assist you.


For many people, homeless shelters are a godsend in that they provide temporary accommodations to those who need help the most, namely individuals and families who can no longer pay their rent. Homeless shelters understand that people become homeless for a myriad of reasons.

Individuals who stay in shelters typically only stay for a short time while they work towards getting their lives back on track and being able to enjoy living independently again. To help the homeless achieve this goal, most shelters offer assistance programs like substance abuse treatments, food programs, employment training, and support groups, for example.

To address the ever-growing homeless population in America, many shelters receive government funding, which, among other things, is used to build even more shelters in communities where homelessness is on the rise

. So why are so many American homeless, you ask? Well, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a disproportionate of individual and family income is going towards paying rent, which leaves individuals and families not only living paycheck to paycheck but also more likely to seek emergency shelter.


If you’re weren’t already aware, there are shelter specifically designated for women, families, and adolescents.

There are also shelters for those who are struggling with addiction. Although the primary objective of all shelters is to provide individuals with a safe place to stay. They must also recognize that housing needs can vary depending upon age, gender, and social circumstances.

Women’s shelters, for example, are designed to provide women who are either homeless or facing a threatening situation, namely domestic abuse, with a safe place to stay.

Domestic violence can be fatal. It’s therefore so important to have supports available to help those escaping domestic violence with a safe, secure place. Where you cannot be found by the wrong people. There are many resources found here, . Additionally, a listing of shelters and emergency shelters specifically for those escaping domestic abuse can be found here.

These facilities can serve as an emergency shelter for women who are in abusive relationships and feel like they have no recourse as they provide countless women with the strength they need to finally leave their abusers.

Beyond that, they offer access to meeting groups where women in similar situations can support one another. Some of these shelters include:

  • YMCA – Billed as one of the oldest women’s organizations in America, the YMCA not only provides women with shelter but also serves as an advocate for women’s civil rights. 

  • Feeding America – Along with providing women with temporary shelter, Feeding America also provides food assistance. In fact, they have helped feed more than 25 million children, senior, and low-income individuals. 

  • The Salvation Army – One of the most recognized social services organizations in America, the Salvation Army often partners with churches to provide help to women, men, and the elderly. They also provide services for those struggling with substance abuse. 

  • Gospel Rescue Missions – As a network of community-based churches, Gospel Rescue Mission provides assistance to anyone in need of help, regardless of race, religion, or age.

It is important to note that shelters that provide accommodations for women are not trying to segregate women from men or teens Tthat are also homeless. They are designed, moreover, to address the specific needs of women in crisis.


Family shelters are slightly different from general population shelters in that they cater to entire families who are struggling with homelessness.

They not only provide accommodations but also services like childcare, for example, which enables families to quickly get back on their feet.

While the services offered at family shelters can help families transition from homelessness to independent living. Iit is important to note that most have a cap when it comes to how long they can stay.


Not all homeless people are adults – many are young people escaping parental abuse and other social and domestic problems. Runaways, as they are often called, can find supports here. Also available on this site is assistance for parents or loved ones.

Youth shelters are very unique in that they serve as a homeless shelter for young males and females between the ages of 16 and 24.Individuals within this age range who have nowhere else to turn can seek refuge at youth shelters.

In addition to providing clean, safe accommodations, they also provide a wide range of services like rehabilitation, job training, and other educational programs.

It should be noted that these shelters are immensely important as they can help young homeless individuals avoid going down the wrong path in life.

Studies show that young homeless individuals who do not receive help often spiral down a path of drugs, alcohol, and ongoing homelessness. Statistically speaking, the rate of homeless youth in America is on the upswing and shows no signs of relenting anytime soon.

That said, youth-based homeless shelters are a godsend to those who need them.


. One of the premier organizations that work to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation services to those who cannot afford it is the Salvation Army.

Not surprisingly, many of those who are homeless are also struggling with substance abuse.

As one of the premier organizations that work to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation services to those who cannot afford them. The Salvation Army requires individuals to be admitted under their own volition. However, individuals who are in these facilities are grateful for the opportunity to break free of their addiction.

While they have a safe, comfortable place to stay.

Beyond that, rehab shelters like those offered at the Salvation Army. They pride themselves on being a resource for those needing help with addiction.

As such, they offer a variety of services and guidance to help those struggling with substance abuse turn their lives around.

For example, they provide work programs that are designed to give individuals employment skills and experience to help them reenter the workforce.

This website provides you with contact numbers and distress lines for suicide prevention and emergencies. It also has a lot of resources and information about treatment facilities and how to gain access to one, if you are suffering from addiction or mental health issues.

Help for Veterans

Volunteers of America offer supports for veterans who have become homeless, Many of which also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and other related mental illnesses.

Veterans often require specialized health care, so it’s no surprise that a “taskforce” has been created, thanks to the American Legion, to help our veterans find the unique help they need.

Previously Incarcerated And Returning to Society

For those who have spent time in a correctional facility returning to work, finding employment and a secure situation can be challenging. Often resulting in homelessness and a return to crime.

Services for the previously incarcerated can be found at the Volunteers of America, where they can take part in work-release programs and get access to mediation and transitional housing, as well as many other programs.


If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being homeless, either as an individual or family. There are a variety of day and emergency homeless shelters that can help you.,

Not to mention halfway houses and shelters that offer drug and alcohol rehabilitation services. Although halfway houses weren’t covered in this article. They are a great resource for individuals and families looking to transition from a shelter to a permanent living situation. They will pay a minimum of 30 percent of their income to cover program fees.

It is also worth noting that individuals and families cannot stay in a halfway house program for more than 2 years. However, a percentage of their fees may be returned to them once they leave the halfway house.


There are a number of resources available for those who find themselves in need of temporary accommodations while trying to get their lives back on track.

To that point, there are multiple day shelters, emergency homeless shelters, and halfway houses located in nearly every state within the United States.

If you have access to the Internet, you encouraged to visit shelterlistings.org, an organization that has made it their mission to provide not only shelter but a wealth of other services to those in need. Also, they believe that helping the less fortunate is one of the best ways of helping to make the world a better place.

Getting Back on Your Feet

I know from experience while shelters and social programs do provide you with a roof over your head. And regular meals. They are not a guarantee and by no means are they permanent.

It’s generally preferred to find a stable situation and that generally doesn’t involve a shelter.

While you are without a permanent home, accessing social services may be a bit tougher, however it’s vital that you do. Once you have found safe, temporary housing or have regular access to a shelter and food, it’s important to start looking for affordable low income housing right away.

Housing can mean many things. Public housing may be a good starting point, as it is based on your gross annual income. Alternatively, housing vouchers are an option, in which the government pays a portion of your rent and you pay the remainder.

Once you have secured a rental property, you can also find help paying rent and thereby preventing you from becoming homeless in future.

If you are newly homeless or concerned about becoming homeless in the next few days, weeks, or months the links and information in this article can assist – help is available.

This guide can also provide you with many resources and directories that can keep you as safe and comfortable as possible. During this difficult time

. And as a gentle reminder: homelessness doesn’t have to be a chronic condition, And it doesn’t define you. With the right support, you can dig your way out of the pit and find security.

If you made it this far in this article, I thank you for reading this. If you are homeless and need shelter check out the above guide. It provides you with a general idea of what to expect. Feel free to share this information with others. Step up and help a homeless citizen today.


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