Some shelters are for single men and women, some are for single women with children, and some are for families.
If you have a criminal record, some shelters have a policy about not sheltering people with certain convictions, such as a violent offense or sex offense. Our list includes this information, as well as anything else that helps you make a decision about a shelter.
After you get into an emergency shelter, ask if they have case managers who can help you learn about housing programs in your area.
A case manager or intake specialist is usually the best person to help you learn about housing programs in your area.
If the shelter doesn't have case managers, try going to a day shelter and asking for an intake interview. Day shelters are on our list below.
If you call a shelter and they tell you it’s full, call later in the day in case a bed opens. Be persistent. If it’s full one day, call the next day. Keep calling every day.
Click below for our list of emergency shelters with descriptions of their admittance policies and programs.
If you have a phone and you need information about shelters in your area, you can call 211. United Way operators answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and may know of any available beds that day. Your call is free and confidential. Operators may also know about short-term housing help in your area.