ESG FAQ
Q

Can a day shelter be funded as an emergency shelter under ESG?

Date Published: December 2012

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A

ESG funds can be used for day shelters that meet the criteria under the emergency shelter definition in section 576.2, which provides:  

"Emergency shelter means any facility, the primary purpose of which is to provide a temporary shelter for the homeless in general or for specific populations of the homeless and which does not require occupants to sign leases or occupancy agreements. Any project funded as an emergency shelter under a Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency [Shelter] grant may continue to be funded under ESG."

According to this criteria, if the day shelter’s primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter for the homeless in general or specific subpopulations of the homeless, and the day shelter does not require occupants to sign leases or occupancy agreements, then the day shelter meets the emergency shelter definition and may be funded as an emergency shelter under ESG.  Also, the primary purpose must be evident in the shelter’s features; at a minimum, homeless people must be able to stay in the facility for as many hours as it is open. 

In addition, for a day shelter to use ESG funds to serve people as an emergency shelter, the facility must follow the requirements that apply to ESG recipients and subrecipients with respect to those funds and activities.  For example:

  • Each client must be homeless, and must be evaluated for eligibility and assistance needed.  This evaluation must be conducted in accordance with 24 CFR § 576.401(a);
  • Each client’s eligibility and homeless status must be documented in accordance with the requirements in 24 CFR § 576.500(b);
  • Client and activity data must be entered into the local HMIS.  This must be completed in accordance with the requirements in 24 CFR § 576.400(f); and
  • The shelter must follow the written standards (required under 24 CFR § 576.400(e)) related to emergency shelters and essential services, including: 

(1) Policies and procedures for admission, diversion, referral, and discharge by emergency shelters assisted under ESG, including standards regarding length of stay, if any, and safeguards to meet the safety and shelter needs of special populations, e.g., victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and individuals and families who have the highest barriers to housing and are likely to be homeless the longest; and

(2) Policies and procedures for assessing, prioritizing, and reassessing individuals' and families' needs for essential services related to emergency shelter.

Note:  If a shelter serves both eligible and ineligible clients under ESG, then the shelter’s eligible costs must be allocated in proportion to “the relative benefits received,” as set forth in the OMB Cost Principles.  For more information about this, please see OMB Circular A-122: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a122_2004

The following DO NOT qualify as eligible emergency shelters for ESG: 

  • A doctor’s office or other facility where a person can only stay for the time of his/her appointment;
  • Multi-purpose service centers serving all people in need; or
  • Stand-alone food pantries/soup kitchens/cafeterias.

Communities should fund activities in day shelters that are targeted to people who are sleeping on the streets or in emergency shelter.

Note also that the costs of services such as case management and mental health services provided to homeless persons in the shelter would be eligible under essential services, as long as the costs comply with the rule (see 24 CFR § 576.100(d) and § 576.102, especially).  The costs of providing laundry facilities or meals in the shelter would be eligible under shelter operations, as long as the costs comply with the rule (see 24 CFR § 576.100(d) and 576.102, especially).


Tags: ESG Emergency Shelter

FAQ ID:

983