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Root causes of homelessness vary widely, but include:

  • Availability of affordable housing

  • Unemployment

  • Substance abuse

  • Interpersonal conflict

  • Mental health

  • Poverty.

  • Trauma and violence.

  • Domestic violence.

  • Justice-system involvement.

  • Sudden serious illness.

Transitional Housing plays a key role in restablishing one foothold on solid ground, rebuilding relationships and developing life skills.

Types of Supportive Shelter


  • Emergency shelters are often where people experiencing economic shock first turn for support through a wide range of services.


  • Transitional housing typically involves a temporary residence of up to 24 months with wrap-around services to help people stabilize their lives.


  • Permanent supportive housing offers safe and stable housing environments with voluntary and flexible supports and services to help people manage serious, chronic issues such as mental and substance use disorders.

Programming to end Homeless

Men, women, youth, and families living with mental or substance use issues may need treatment, case management, and discharge planning in addition to financial support (e.g., employment assistance, Housing First programs, targeted rental/housing subsidies) to avoid or escape homelessness. Being homeless, no matter how long it lasts, is a life-altering traumatic event that creates major stress in any person’s life, regardless of age.

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