Single Adults: The Shelter System

DHS employee attending to a client

What is expected of single adults in shelter?

DHS operates the most comprehensive shelter services system for single adults in the country, with programs to assist individuals in overcoming homelessness and securing permanent housing. Once clients enter shelter, they have certain responsibilities that they must meet, including obtaining and maintaining employment for all those who are able to work.

Through DHS' policy of Client Responsibility, individuals and adult families in shelter must actively participate in this process and take strides toward independent living. With the assistance of their caseworkers, households will develop an Independent Living Plan (ILP)-a document that outlines relevant goals to exit shelter and return to self-sufficiency. Now, more than ever, employment-focused programs and work supports remain a cornerstone of DHS' efforts to help clients move out of shelter and into permanent housing.

Expectations for Single Adults in Shelter:

  • Cooperate in carrying out, developing, and completing their ILP, which includes the steps toward obtaining permanent housing
  • Applying for Public Assistance (PA) and completing all requirements necessary for establishing and maintaining eligibility for PA benefits
  • If able to work, actively seeking employment and accepting a suitable job when it is offered
  • Working closely with their caseworker or housing specialist to locate and view available apartments
  • Actively seeking permanent housing by viewing available apartments several times per week
  • Accepting a suitable apartment when it is offered
  • Following shelter rules that prohibit behavior that places other clients and staff at risk
Failing to abide by these rules may have serious consequences, including but not limited to the temporary discontinuance of shelter services. When clients work closely with shelter staff and follow these and other rules, DHS can best assist them to transition quickly back to the community.