The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines “homeless” in four categories:

  1. Literally Homeless: an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes residences not designed for permanent habitation including, but not limited to, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, buses, camping grounds, emergency shelters, hotels/motels paid by public or private agency due to homelessness, and transitional housing.
  2. Imminent Risk of Homeless: family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence and who lack resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing
  3. Homeless Under other Federal Statutes: Unaccompanied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as homeless under other Federal statutes who have experienced a long-term period without living independently in permanent housing, have experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.
  4. Fleeing or Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence: individual or family who is fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence who lacks the resources or support to obtain other permanent housing.

However, the HUD definition of homeless fails to capture individuals and families who are “doubling up” or “couch-surfing”.

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1. Housing First
2. Point in Time (PIT) Count
3. Continuum of Care (CoC)
4. Chronically Homeless
5. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
6. Homeless
7. Rapid Re-Housing
8. Ten-year Plan to End Homelessness
9. Coordinated Entry System (CES)
10. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
11. Emergency Shelter
12. Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act
13. McKinney-Vento Act
14. Affordable Housing
15. Housing Choice Vouchers