Housing & Shelter Services

    For many people, finding safe and stable housing, or addressing housing concerns, will be the first post-incarceration priority.  Below are some commonly needed housing/shelter resources.  Please note that many of the programs you look at may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements.  If you need help determining which programs you may be eligible for, you can contact 2-1-1 and a specialist will talk with you about your options and pre-screen you for eligibility.

    Emergency Shelters – Programs that provide short-term shelter (usually less than 2 weeks) for people without housing, generally in dormitory-style facilities with very little privacy.  These programs may offer minimal support services such as referrals and help with future plans.  They enforce shelter rules including curfews and chores.

    Cold Weather Shelters – Emergency shelter facilities that are open during the winter months, to provide a place for people to sleep, eat and shower out of the cold.

    Transitional Housing – Programs that provide temporary housing (3 months-2years) and supportive services for individuals and/or families with the goal of helping them live independently and transition into permanent housing.  Some programs offer individual apartments, while others offer shared housing. Transitional housing programs often have waiting lists, so it is a good idea to try to contact them as soon as possible.

    Rental Deposit Assistance – Programs that provide all or a portion of the rental deposit and—in some cases—the first and/or last month’s rent and any security deposits for people who are in the process of acquiring rental housing and who can handle the monthly rental payments, but do not have the assets to pay the deposits.

    Rent Payment Assistance – Programs that provide all or a portion of the rent payment for people at risk of eviction without assistance.  

    Utility Bill Payment Assistance - Programs that pay all or a portion of the utility bills of people whose utilities have been or are at risk of being shut off. Also included are non-emergency programs that provide home energy assistance for low-income households that apply. The assistance is usually available once per year.

    Residential Treatment Facilities - Community-based residential facilities that provide a temporary treatment program in a 24-hour, supervised, alcohol and drug-free supportive environment so that people who have problems related to substance abuse can achieve and/or maintain sobriety. Services may include personal recovery planning services, 12-step or other mutual support groups, alcoholism/substance abuse education, family support, recreation and social activities and assistance in obtaining vocational and social services.

    Residential Alcohol Treatment Facilities

    Residential Drug Treatment Facilities

    Sober Living Homes – Residences (which may be single family dwellings, duplexes, multiplex apartment buildings or communal residential facilities) that are alcohol and other drug-free, for people who are recovering from substance abuse and need a sober environment in order to sustain an abstinent lifestyle. Residents are free to organize and participate in support group meetings or any other activity that helps them maintain sobriety, but neither the homes nor the residents provide treatment, recovery, detoxification services or other supportive services and supervision of individual recovery is not provided.

    Low Income/Affordable Housing – Long term housing programs that are available to low-income individuals and families.  Some complexes or housing units may be reserved for low-income older adults, people with disabilities and/or other special populations.


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