What does being “homeless” really mean?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines homelessness in four broad categories:
- Individuals and families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as well as those who live in an emergency shelter or a place not meant for human habitation
- Individuals and families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence
- Unaccompanied youth and families with children who are defined as homeless under other federal statutes who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition
- Individuals and families who are fleeing, or are attempting to flee, domestic voilence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or a family member and do not have resources or support to obtain permanent housing
Who is at risk of homelessness?
Although veterans, people with disabilities, and single parent families are high-risk for homelessness, more of the working poor are struggling with or at risk of homelessness. People recently released from prison and young adults who have recently been emancipated (or aged-out) from the foster care system are also at increased risk of homelessness.
What does it mean to be “chronically homeless?”
Although chronic homelessness represents a small share of the overall homeless population (approximately 123,790 chronically homeless individuals nationwide on any given night), chronically homeless people use up a significantly disproportionate share of the services. Many chronically homeless people have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia and/or an alcohol or drug addiction.. A “chronically homeless” person is defined as “an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more, or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”
Mobile Loaves & Fishes http://mlf.org/
Green Doors http://www.greendoors.org/
Austin Resource for the Homeless - ARCH http://http://frontsteps.org