Date Published: April 2016
The amended definition as found in the Final Rule on Defining “Chronically Homeless” does not establish a minimum number of days that each occasion must total and instead defines the end of an occasion as a break of at least seven nights where the individual or head of household is not residing in an emergency shelter, safe haven, or is residing in a place meant for human habitation (e.g., with friends or family) or a period of 90 days or longer in an institution.
While third-party documentation may be available to document a break in an individual or head of household’s time residing in a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven, it is not required. All breaks can be documented through a written certification of the individual or head of household seeking assistance. However, please note that when there is evidence of a break (such as in an HMIS record) it must be counted.
Stays of less than seven nights in one of these places is not considered a break and instead counted toward the total time residing in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter, or a safe haven. Additionally, stays in institutions of fewer than 90 days are not considered a break and instead the time spent in the institution is counted towards the total time residing in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter, or safe haven.