If you are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or know someone that is homeless in Tarrant and Parker Counties, there is help available. The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition's purpose is to bring Tarrant and Parker County residents out of homelessness. But, what is homelessness exactly? How does the government define who is homeless?
On December 5, 2011, HUD published the final rule on the Definition of Homeless in the Federal Register. As this is the final rule, there is not a further comment period for the definition of homeless. The final rule on the Definition of Homeless went into effect on January 4, 2012. The purpose of this message is to provide links to resources that HUD has developed on the definition as well as answer a few basic questions on the implementation of the regulation. HUD will keep our grantees posted as new resources are developed.
For more information on the criteria and documentation of homelessness needed click here.
How do you obtain verification of chronic homelessness?
To verify chronic homelessness in our community you will combine a search in the current HMIS system and document according to the above HUD criteria and documentation requirements. Then, to verify longer terms of homelessness, complete the Request for HMIS Documentation of Homelessness Form and either scan or fax to the following contact information to recieve past recorded incidences of homelessness for your client across the continuum:
Fax: 817-509-9089 OR E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Does This New Rule Apply To?
The rule applies to programs funded by HUD differently depending on the type of program (formula or competitive) and, for competitive programs, when your operating year begins. The final rule applies to:
1. All recipients of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program funds.
2. All recipients of SHP and S+C funding awarded through the FY 2011 CoC Competition at the point that their renewal award takes effect. For example, a project with a start date of May 1 would be subject to the new definition regulation on May 1 when their 2011 renewal grant agreement takes effect.
3. This definition does not apply to HPRP programs or competitive projects that did not renew in the 2011 Continuum of Care competition.
How Does the Rule Define Homelessness?
The final rule on the Definition of Homeless establishes four categories under which an individual or family may qualify as homeless. The categories are:
- Literally homeless - An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, meaning the individual or family has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation or is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living arrangements. This category also includes individuals who are exiting an institution where he or she resided for 90 days or less who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately prior to entry into the institution.
- Imminent Risk of Homelessness - an individual or family who will imminently lose (within 14 days) their primary nighttime residence provided that no subsequent residence has been identified and the individual or family lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing.
- Homeless under other Federal Statutes - unaccompanied youth (under 25) or families with children and youth who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition and are defined as homeless under another federal statute, have not had permanent housing during the past 60 days, have experience persistent instability, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time.
- Fleeing/Attempting to Flee DV - any individual or family who is fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
To learn more about how the new final rule on the federal definition of homelessness affects the Continuum of Care, please visit the Tips and Resources page of the TCHC website.
Chronic Homeless Verification Request - Download Form
Instructions: Please fill out the top half of this form in order to request old client track data on a client (data prior to October 1, 2011). TCHC will fill out the bottom portion, sign and return this form to you along with the HMIS record for your files. Please allow 72 hours for the request to be completed.
Documentation of Homelessness - Download Form
Instructions: Please use this form for any documentation of homelessness. This form enables you to sign verifying that you looked up the client in the HMIS system and the system had recorded shelter services for that person. Please attach the HMIS record to this signed form to complete the documentation verification. Once completed, this form may be used to verify homelessness for entities such as JPS and HUD housing options. Any agency may use this form to verify homelessness for any other agency as long as the HMIS record is attached.