Shelter Eligibility for Families with Children

You have a right to shelter if you have no other safe, available housing option. You must be allowed to apply for shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For information on where to apply for shelter or the documents you will need in order to apply, please click here.

When you apply for shelter, you will meet with a diversion worker who will try to help you avoid entering shelter. This worker may offer you assistance with benefits, relocation assistance, or discuss with you any options to locate permanent housing. This worker is not part of the shelter application process. You still have a right to apply for shelter no matter what is discussed in diversion. Click here for more information about your rights with respect to diversion.

If you are still in need of shelter after speaking with diversion, you will meet with a family worker who will ask you where you have lived in the past two years. Be sure to tell the worker where you stayed, but also all the reasons why you had to leave.

You will be provided with shelter that night and for approximately 10 days after. During this time, PATH will investigate your eligibility. They will visit and call places you have stayed and people you have lived with to see if there are any housing options available to you. You may also be given appointments to return to PATH during this time.

At the end of the 10 days DHS will make a decision, if you are eligible or ineligible for shelter. If you are not found eligible, you have the right to reapply any time with no waiting period. However, the City can deny shelter to some families when they believe another housing option is available. If you need assistance with your application for shelter, come into the Crisis Intervention Program.

The City MUST give you shelter when you re-apply if:

  • You or your child would be in immediate danger if you do not receive shelter (including for medical reasons).
  • You have new facts, information, or documents, or something has changed.
  • You (or the primary tenant) have just been evicted from the last place you stayed.
  • Your child is the victim of child abuse, and the abuser lives in the last place you stayed or can find your child.
  • You are a domestic violence victim, and your abuser lives in the last place you lived or can find you.
  • You are re-applying more than 90 days after last having been found ineligible for shelter.

The City must also give you shelter if you were found ineligible because: 

  • You “failed to cooperate.”
  • You “failed to demonstrate that you are a family unit.”
  • You had to miss appointments at PATH.
  • You were “logged out” before your application was decided.

If the City finds you ineligible when you re-apply but you have a shelter placement, or if you receive a discharge notice, are threatened with loss of shelter, or are denied shelter when you seek it, come into the Crisis Intervention Program as soon as possible.