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Homeless Financial Assistance Programs authorized under federal or state legislation or local government initiatives that provide financial assistance for the express purpose of obtaining temporary shelter or permanent housing for individuals and/or families who are homeless or imminently homeless. Expenses may include rental deposits, rent assistance, utility deposits, moving expenses and other costs the family may incur in the process of acquiring or maintaining housing. Allowable activities, eligibility criteria and other requirements vary depending on the funding source.

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Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance programs provide cash for people in need of assistance and evaluate the individual's or family's need for the money on a case-by-case basis rather than having pre-established policies regarding the types of needs the dollars can be used to cover.


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Transitional Housing/Shelter programs that provide extended shelter and supportive services for homeless individuals and/or families with the goal of helping them live independently and transition into permanent housing. Some programs require that the individual/family be transitioning from a short-term emergency shelter. The length of stay varies considerably by program. It is generally longer than two weeks but typically 60 days or more and, in many cases, up to two years or more. The supportive services may be provided directly by the organization managing the housing or may be coordinated by them and provided by other public or private agencies. Transitional housing/shelter is generally provided in apartment style facilities with a higher degree of privacy than short-term homeless shelters; may be provided at no cost to the resident


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Community Shelters programs, usually sponsored by community organizations or coalitions, that provide temporary shelter (usually three days to two weeks) for homeless people, generally in dormitory-style facilities with very little privacy. Most community shelters offer support services which may include counseling, advocacy, referrals and help with future plans; and enforce house rules including curfews and mandatory household chores. Participation in religious activities is either optional or not a part of the program.


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