How to Write a Grant for a Homeless Shelter

Homeless shelters are important institutions in a community. They provide food, shelter and education to the community’s least fortunate members. They also give other children and adults a venue to get involved with the needy, with whom they would otherwise not interact. Homeless shelters are, by nature and law, non-profit organizations and often rely on donations and grants to survive. Grants can help your group sustain and improve the work you are doing in your community.

Meet with your board of directors and staff to determine your organization's greatest needs. Many organizations, such as National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, fund capital improvements. Other cover staff or supply costs.

Make a detailed budget of your homeless shelter's specific needs. Also put together or print your organizational budget, which will outline your income and expenses.

Research local statistics about your community. Highlight the needs and numbers of the homeless in your community in your application and cover letter. Outline how your group will meet the needs of these people.

Print or pick up applications from organizations that fund homeless shelters. Consider local foundations that may be interested in your work.

Fill out the application with all the necessary details and documents regarding your organization, and send it in before the deadline.


  • If you are a smaller organization or in a smaller town, consider approaching local groups and your state Housing and Urban Development office. Homeless shelters in larger towns tend to have a better chance of getting funds from federal and larger foundations.