Centres where homeless people can spend time during the day or evening. Services may include counselling and/or medication monitoring on a formal or informal basis; personal hygiene supplies; facilities for showering, shaving, napping, laundering clothes, making necessary telephone calls or attending to other personal needs; and other basic supportive services. Some centres may also provide meals or facilities for cooking. Programs that focus on homeless youth may provide case management, living skills training, family reunification assistance, classes and other educational supports, pre-employment training, health education (including HIV prevention), help in obtaining valid ID and other services that help youth successfully exit street life and transition to independent living.
Programs that provide a temporary place to stay (usually three days to two weeks), generally in dormitory-style facilities with very little privacy, for people who have no permanent housing. Also included are programs that provide motel vouchers for people who are homeless.
Programs that provide short term nursing and recuperative care for homeless people who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury while living on the streets, but are not ill enough to be in a hospital. Included are shelter-based programs, transitional housing-based programs and respite care programs within nursing facilities. Length of stay is generally determined on a case-by-case basis and a referral from a physician or other health care provider may be required. Other eligibility criteria may apply.
Programs that provide affordable, community-based housing for individuals and families who have experienced long-term or chronic homelessness and have been diagnosed as having a physical or developmental disability, a severe mental illness, substance abuse problems or HIV/AIDS; or are members of another designated group within the homeless population. Structures may include apartments, single-family houses, duplexes, group homes or single-room occupancy housing. Permanent supportive housing programs generally provide residents with the rights of tenancy under provincial or local landlord/tenant laws and are linked to services designed to meet residents' needs. Supportive services vary depending on the resident population. Most programs offer some type of case management and housing support, but may also offer more intensive mental health, substance abuse, vocational, employment or other services which help promote independent living. Supportive services may be offered on-site or off-site, or be provided by a mobile service team.
Programs that provide transportation services for homeless people from the streets to a local shelter with available space, either from a established pick-up site or by appointment from the individual’s current location. Also included are programs that provide transportation between shelters or to and from medical clinics, detoxification facilities, public assistance offices and other local service providers.
Programs that help people who are homeless because they have become estranged from their families establish contact with their families. The program may also, where appropriate, help them negotiate the conditions under which they can return to their families and arrange for transportation home.
Programs that are staffed by outreach workers who spend time with people who live on the street, build relationships with them, identify and address their immediate needs (e.g., crisis intervention, food, clean clothing, hygiene kits, blankets, someone to listen) and provide information about and linkage to longer-term forms of support such as shelter, counselling, drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, care/case management and, where applicable, family reunification services. Street outreach programs may be staffed by volunteers or peers who were formerly homeless; and may target special populations such as homeless youth at risk for sexual abuse or exploitation, veterans, or people with specific medical or mental health conditions, or be available to the larger homeless population.
Programs that provide emotional support, information and guidance for children and adolescents who have run away from home and for the entire family, if appropriate, with the objective of identifying and resolving the problems that prompted the youth to leave home and/or assisting the youth to formulate and implement a workable plan for his or her immediate future.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for children and youth who have run away from or have been pushed out of their homes or who are acting out and at risk of abuse. Included may be steps to ensure the youth's safety, information regarding the youth's rights and alternatives, and referrals for shelter, medical care, ongoing counselling or group support and other related services. Also included are programs that maintain a message relay system which allows runaways to contact their parents or other concerned individuals and receive messages from them. Helpline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.
Organizations that support measures that address the needs of people who are, or are at risk of becoming, homeless including the need for shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, medical care and basic human rights.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.