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Resources for homelessness in every state

  • Resources for homelessness in every state

    The causes and conditions that lead to homelessness are varied and complex. Issues like domestic abuse, addiction, financial hardship, eviction, disabilities, and mental illness can contribute to or cause an often sudden change in living situations that can leave adults, children, families, or veterans without shelter, food, or medical care.

    According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 567,715 people were homeless in 2019. Being that these are the most recent available numbers on a national level and that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the world’s population in 2020, those numbers could potentially be much higher in 2020 and 2021. Homeless individuals already suffer from chronic medical conditions at a rate much higher than housed individuals, and the pandemic has put the most vulnerable members of an already vulnerable population at greater risk.

    The issue of homelessness also has disproportionate effects on minority populations. LGBTQ youth experience one of the highest rates of homelessness, with 40% of individuals accessing services identifying as being LGBTQ.

    Much of the funding for state programs comes from federal grants provided by the United States Office of Housing and Urban Development. Though federal funds are accessed for services other than those that provide shelter as their primary resource, many homeless shelters, food banks, and free or low-cost medical clinics remain functional through multiple funding and staffing streams, including the utilization of volunteer workers, private donations, and corporate partnerships. Medical services in particular receive little funding from federal sources.

    Though there are ample phone numbers to call, from local 211 hotlines to national crisis centers, many homeless people experience challenges accessing resources, transitioning into programs—some of which have stringent protocols to maintain alcohol and drug abstinence—or participate in other treatment programs. Stacker compiled a list of resources in each state that help house and serve local homeless populations using a variety of government, private, charitable, nonprofit, and academic sources.

    Click through to find out how your state is helping alleviate homelessness.

    [Pictured: An aerial view of San Francisco's first temporary sanctioned tent encampment for the homeless on May 18, 2020.]

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  • Alabama: Homeless to Independence

    Calling 211 is the first step for many seeking assistance for basic housing, food, and health care needs in Alabama. Various local shelters and food assistance programs are available throughout the state, one being Homeless to Independence, which provides necessary supplies for homeless individuals and families.

  • Alaska: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

    Alaskans experiencing housing emergencies can call 211 during business hours or access services 24/7 online. State and federal programs provide rental and housing assistance throughout the state.

  • Arizona: Arizona Department of Economic Security

    Arizona provides residents in need with rapid housing and emergency shelter options. There are programs for those behind on utility bills, and there are also a number of food banks throughout the state.

  • Arkansas: Arkansas Department of Human Services

    Arkansas provides a list of shelters in each county that can be accessed by those in need of services. In addition, millions of pounds of food are distributed through a network of food banks.

  • California: California Department of Social Services

    California offers numerous programs to help individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. As of March 2020, there is a newly created program specifically to help those who have contracted or are at risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Colorado: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

    Resources for housing, employment, and child care are available throughout Colorado. Whether they’re for families or single individuals, for the Native American population, or those with substance use issues, there are specific programs available to provide assistance.

  • Connecticut: Connecticut State Housing and Homeless Services Unit

    Dialing 211 can provide access to various services in Connecticut. The state provides programs for people in need of rental assistance, permanent housing, mental health treatment, and more.

  • Delaware: Delaware Division of State Services Center

    Accessing local programs in Delaware involves utilizing a state-run network of service providers. Emergency housing, financial assistance, and support services can be accessed through the Delaware Division of State Services website.

  • Florida: Florida Coalition to End Homelessness

    Florida provides resources for the homeless through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Feeding America, and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Access to those programs, along with specific locations and contact numbers, can be found by contacting the Florida Coalition to End Homelessness.

  • Georgia: Georgia Department of Community Affairs

    Georgia offers a network of local food banks and pantries that provide supplies and readymade meals. Accessing services starts with a call to 211. The United Way provides connections to services for individuals who are having difficulties meeting their basic needs.

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