Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Shelter Services Definition


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.


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 or children and youth in foster care and provide age- and developmentally-appropriate residential and supportive services.

Currently viewing: SHELTER SERVICES (PA-SH)

Viewing: PA-SH - Shelter Services


Note: Basic Emergency Shelters will complete: PA-SH 1 through PA-SH 7, and PA-SH 10. 
Enhanced Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing programs will complete: PA-SH 1 through PA-SH 8, and PA-SH 10. 
Youth Shelters will complete: PA-SH 1 through PA-SH 10.

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 for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the SH Crosswalk.