Resources for Homelessness
Published 8:00 am Sunday, April 16, 2023
Being homeless or at risk of being homeless can be scary and affect many parts of your life. Between finding somewhere to stay at night, getting food, and medical care, it can be a lot to handle on your own. In this article, we will share some valuable resources to help you with housing, healthcare, or food access needs.
When you’re at risk of being homeless, your priority is finding somewhere safe to stay. If you need shelter, here are five resources that may be able to help:
- Youth between the ages of 16-22 can apply for the Transitional Living Program for Youth (TLP), run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The TLP provides eligible youth with stable and safe living options for up to 21 months, and support services. There are more than 191 residential centers open across the U.S. To find the center closest to you, call 1-800-621-4000.
- 211 is a nationwide resource available 24/7 to help you get connected to local services. They can help find housing programs, shelters, food banks, and more. To learn more about your local hotline, visit the 211 website or call 2-1-1.
- If you suffer from mental illness and are facing homelessness, the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) may be able to help. PATH can help with substance abuse issues, housing services, and finding more resources in your area. To find the closest PATH program, visit the PATH website or HUD’s Resource Locator.
- The Homeless Shelter Directory can also help you find the shelter closest to you.
Healthcare can be hard to access if you are homeless. The following resources can help you get the care you need:
- Data.HRSA.com has information about health clinics that provide services to individuals and families that cannot afford care. You can search the Health Center Database to find a health center near you.
- The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics helps sponsor a network of clinics across the nation that help those who cannot afford healthcare and medicine. Their website has a map of health providers that offer free or low-cost care.
Food and Nutrition Access
You may be eligible for the following food assistance programs if you are at risk of homelessness or currently homeless:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families that are used at stores to purchase food. You can get SNAP benefits even if you don’t have a permanent address or if you live in a shelter. To check if you are eligible and apply for benefits, you can find your local SNAP agency on the State Directory.
- Feeding America has a food bank locator that can help you find the closest food bank to visit for free food distributions.
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can help you get food, nutrition information, and healthcare assistance if you are eligible. WIC supports the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.
Resources for Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has programs to help homeless veterans and their families. The Homeless Veterans Assistance Center can help you find housing, employment, and health and mental health services. You don’t need to apply to use the assistance center. Call the center at 1-877-424-3838 or visit the Veterans Crisis Line website to chat online with an agent. Both options are available 24 hours a day.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans also has a directory of service providers for veterans experiencing homelessness, which you can view here.
Find More Benefits
You can also find other government benefits you may be eligible to receive by taking the Benefit Finder. It is an easy-to-use questionnaire that takes about 10-30 minutes. When you fill out the questionnaire, you will answer questions about yourself, and it will give you a list of government benefits you may be eligible for. Once you get your benefit results, you will be directed to apply on the agency website. Check out this video to learn more about the Benefit Finder Questionnaire.