CoC FAQ
Q

Can an individual or head of household be considered chronically homeless if they are coming directly from an institution? Why or why not?

Date Published: April 2016

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A

An individual or head of household with a qualifying disability can be considered chronically homeless if they are coming directly from an institution where they have resided for fewer than 90 days and resided in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter, or a safe haven immediately prior to entering the institution and were either:

  1. Residing in one of these locations for at least the last 12 months continuously or 12 months cumulatively over a period of at least four occasions in the last three years prior to entering the institution; or
     
  2. Where the time spent residing in the institution (of fewer than 90 days) plus the time spent residing in one of these locations totals at least 12 months continuously or 12 months cumulatively over a period of at least for occasions in the last three years prior to entering the institution.

For example, if an individual or head of household has a qualifying disability and had continuously resided in a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven for 14 months and then entered an institution for 2 months, upon exit they can be considered chronically homeless. Alternatively, if, for example, an individual or head of household has a qualifying disability had continuously resided in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter, or a safe haven for 10 months and then entered an institution for 2 months, upon exit they can be considered chronically homeless.

This is because stays in an institution of less than 90 days do not constitute as a break, meaning that the total length of time homeless can include periods of fewer than 90 days in an institution where the individual or head of household resided in a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven immediately prior to entering the institution. For example, if an individual or head of household resided in an emergency shelter for 4 months, entered an institution for 2 months, and then spent 6 months on the streets immediately after exiting the institution, that full 12 months would count as one continuous occasion of homelessness. If the individual or head of household remains in the institution for 90 days or longer, the entire period in the institution would constitute as a break.

However, in no instance can an individual or head of household be considered chronically homeless if they are exiting an institution where they resided for 90 days or longer, even if they met all of the criteria of the definition of chronically homeless prior to entering the institution because that entire period residing in the institution is considered a break. This means the individual or head of household would not be considered chronically homeless immediately upon discharge.


Tags: CoC Program Requirements - Definition of Chronic Homelessness