Programs that provide extended shelter and supportive services primarily for homeless individuals and/or families with the goal of helping them live independently and transition into permanent housing. Some programs require that the individual/family be transitioning from a short-term emergency shelter. The length of stay varies considerably by program. It is generally longer than two weeks but typically 60 days or more and, in many cases, up to two years or more. The supportive services may be provided directly by the organization managing the housing or may be coordinated by them and provided by other public or private agencies. Transitional housing/shelter is generally provided in apartment style facilities with a higher degree of privacy than short-term homeless shelters; may be provided at no cost to the resident; and may be configured for specialized groups within the homeless population such as people with substance abuse problems, homeless mentally ill, homeless domestic violence victims, veterans or homeless people with AIDS/HIV. Included are post-domestic violence shelter housing programs that make affordable rental housing (or other accommodations) available to women, generally those who are coming directly out of a domestic violence shelter or other crisis shelter, often in apartment complexes owned by the shelter; and programs that provide transitional housing and support services for other targeted groups such as military and veteran families and others who need a temporary supportive living environment to maintain stability and begin to thrive.
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.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.