How to Find Homeless Shelters

Satisfying the elementary need for shelter can be difficult enough, but for those living without a fixed address--let alone access to cars, computers or phone lines--the challenges are daunting. Survival depends on the ability to understand different social environments (such as urban versus suburban), and the degree of resourcefulness in accessing basic services.

Tips

  • Check with other people looking for the same services, if possible--their experiences may steer you in the right direction, or away from an agency overwhelmed by paperwork needs.\n\nFind alternatives to traditional social services agencies that may be a better fit. For example, the Streetwise agency teaches participants to sell its newspaper on corners and other public spaces. Many of these vendors have since found themselves full-time jobs.

Warnings

  • Mind the rules and regulations of each shelter where you settle--with so many people living under one roof, fights and tensions are inevitable. Failing to heed the rules, however, could get you kicked out--and back out on the street.

Resources

About the Author

Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.