WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
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Purpose

Shelter Services meet the basic needs of individuals and families who are homeless or in transition, support family stabilization or independent living, and facilitate access to services and permanent housing.

Definition

Shelter Services provide food, clothing, temporary shelter, and other services to youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness.

COA’s Shelter Services standards accommodate a range of program  types providing different levels of service intensity. 

Basic Emergency Shelters are low barrier and offer limited services that include a safe place to sleep, food, and connections to supportive services. 

Enhanced Emergency Shelters are low barrier and provide or make available a wide range of supportive services in addition to meeting basic needs. 

Transitional Housing programs provide temporary housing and supportive services to meet the needs of individuals and families and facilitate a move to independent living.

Youth Shelters serve runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status and provide age- and developmentally-appropriate residential and supportive services.

Update:

  • Revised Standard - 07/17/17
    The Shelter Services standards were revised to reflect current best practice. 

Research Note: Agencies providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services should be familiar with the issue of human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” as:

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for

  • sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Coercion includes threats of physical or psychological harm to children and/or their families. Any child (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex (including prostitution, pornography, stripping) is a victim of trafficking. 

Research Note: A study issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that many shelter programs serving homeless youth failed to properly recognize prostitution or “survival sex” among minors as sex trafficking, and therefore failed to identify these youth as victims of human trafficking.

Research Note: Victims of human trafficking are in need of a comprehensive array of services, including shelter services.  Increasingly, first responders, including law enforcement and social service providers, are being trained to seek support services for human trafficking victims rather than prosecuting them for criminal activities they may have engaged in while being trafficked, such as prostitution, theft, undocumented status, and wage/hour violations.  Recognizing that these individuals are victims rather than criminals is a paradigm shift still under way in our society. This paradigm shift is critical as trafficking victims are eligible for services and protections under federal and some state laws that may not be provided to them otherwise.

Note: Basic Emergency Shelters will complete: All applicable standards except PA-SH 9, PA-SH 10, and PA-SH 11.

Enhanced Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing programs will complete: All applicable standards except PA-SH 10 and PA-SH 11.

Shelters serving runaway and homeless children and youth and shelters serving children and youth in foster care will complete: All applicable standards in PA-SH 1 through PA-SH 13.?


Note: The service recipient defines “family” based on who fulfills the role of a family member or family-like connection, including current or former foster family members, adoptive family members, legal guardians, extended family members, significant others, siblings or peers. As such, the term “family” as it is referred to throughout this section of standards will vary depending on each service recipient’s definition.

Note: Though the term "human trafficking" is used throughout this section, there are additional terms that may be utilized, including sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), domestic minor sex trafficking, and minor prostitution. The term "victim" is commonly used when referring to individuals who have been trafficked to emphasize that they have been coerced and exploited, though the term "survivor" may also be used.

Note: Please see PA-SH Reference List and Human Trafficking Reference List - Public for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Note: The Shelter Services (PA-SH) standards were revised in July 2017 to reflect current best practice. For more information, please see the SH Standards Updates Summary - Private, Public, Canadian.

Shelter Services Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Provide an overview of the different programs being accredited under this section. The overview should describe:
      1. the program's approach to delivering services;
      2. eligibility criteria;
      3. any unique or special services provided to specific populations; and
      4. major funding streams.
    • If elements of the service (e.g., assessments) are provided by contract with outside programs or through participation in a formal, coordinated service delivery system, provide a list that identifies the providers and the service components for which they are responsible. Do not include services provided by referral.
    • Provide any other information you would like the peer review team to know about these programs.
    • A demographic profile of persons and families served by the programs being reviewed under this service section with percentages representing the following:
      1. racial and ethnic characteristics;
      2. gender/gender identity;
      3. age;
      4. major religious groups; and
      5. major language groups
    • As applicable, a list of groups or classes including, for each group or class:
      1. the type of activity/group;
      2. whether the activity/group is short-term or ongoing;
      3. how often the activity/group is offered;
      4. the average number of participants per session of the activity/group, in the last month; and
      5. the total number of participants in the activity/group, in the last month
    • A list of any programs that were opened, merged with other programs or services, or closed
    • A list or description of program outcomes and outputs being measured
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