CoC FAQ
Q

Can housing or service providers such as emergency shelter staff, members of law enforcement, or healthcare professionals verify homelessness?

Date Published: April 2016

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A

Another housing or service provider may provide a referral of the individual or head of household’s current or prior residence in an emergency shelter, safe haven, or place not meant for human habitation. HUD considers other housing or service providers to include members of law enforcement, a healthcare professional within the community, an educator, or another person that has encountered the individual or head of household while in their official capacity and not simply as a member of the community. If the other housing or service provider is not able to provide a written referral or observation, the intake worker may document their conversation with the housing or service provider. The housing or service provider’s written referral or observation may only qualify as third-party documentation for the specific months in which they encountered the individual or head of household.

For example:

  • An emergency shelter that does not participate in the CoC’s HMIS may provide a written observation stating that the individual or head of household resided there from May 4th through June 20th. That record would count as two months of residing in an emergency shelter.
     
  • A member of law enforcement witnessed the individual or head of household residing in a place not meant for human habitation in the months of January and September. The member of law enforcement could provide a written or oral statement detailing those encounters, including the approximate date in which each encounter occurred. That record would count as two months of residing in a place not meant for human habitation.
     
  • A healthcare professional has been treating the individual or head of household in their office for the last six months but the individual or head of household has only been there four times during that time period. On those four visits, the individual or head of household stated to the healthcare professional that they were residing in a place not meant for human habitation. The healthcare professional can provide a written or oral statement detailing that to the best of their knowledge and based on their professional judgment, the individual or head of household had been residing in a place not meant for human habitation at the time of each of the four appointments. The written or oral statement must include the dates in which the healthcare professional met with the individual or head of household and why they believe the person was residing in a place not meant for human habitation. The healthcare professional cannot qualify as a third-party source for months in which they did not personally encounter the individual or head of household. The record would count as four months of residing in place not meant for human habitation.

Tags: CoC Program Requirements - Definition of Chronic Homelessness