Glossary of Terms

These definitions are HUD definitions.

  • Continuums of Care (CoC)

    are local planning bodies responsible for coordinating the full range of homelessness services in a geographic area, which may cover a city, county, metropolitan area, or even an entire state.

  • Chronically Homeless People in Families

    refers people in families in which the head of household has a disability, and that has either been continuously homeless for 1 year or more or has experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last 3 years.

  • Chronically Homeless Individual

    refers to an unaccompanied individual with a disability who has either been continuously homeless for 1 year or more or has experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last 3 years.

  • Emergency Shelter

    is a facility with the primary purpose of providing temporary shelter for homeless persons.

  • Individuals

    refer to people who are not part of a family during their episode of homelessness. They are homeless as single adults, unaccompanied youth, or in multiple-adult or multiple-child households.

  • Permanent Supportive Housing

    is designed to provide housing (project- and tenant-based) and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless people with a disability.

  • People in Families

    are people who are homeless as part of households that have at least one adult and one child.

  • Point-in-Time Counts

    are unduplicated 1-night estimates of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The 1-night counts are conducted by Continuums of Care nationwide and occur during the last week in January of each year.

  • Safe Havens

    provide private or semi-private long-term housing for people with severe mental illness and are limited to serving no more than 25 people within a facility.

  • Sheltered Homeless People

    are people who are staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens.

  • Transitional Housing Program

    is housing where homeless people may stay and receive supportive services for up to 24 months, and which are designed to enable them to move into permanent housing.

  • Unaccompanied Children and Youth

    are people who are not part of a family during their episode of homelessness and who are under the age of 25.

  • Unsheltered Homeless People

    include people with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground.