Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Shelter Services (PA-SH) 6: Program Facilities

Program facilities provide a physically and psychologically safe, clean, and non-institutional environment.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: SHELTER SERVICES (PA-SH)



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.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility and outdoor area/grounds


PA-SH 6.01

Accommodations for service recipients include:
  1. single rooms, rooms for two to four individuals, rooms for families with children, or accommodations for larger groups, if appropriate;
  2. adequately and attractively furnished rooms with a separate bed for each resident, including a clean, comfortable, covered mattress, pillow, sufficient linens, and blankets;
  3. safe, private bathroom and shower facilities;
  4. a non-stacking crib for each infant and toddler that is 24 months or younger that meets safety guidelines, as applicable; and
  5. a safe place, such as a locker, to keep personal belongings and valuables.


If the physical housing structure prevents the provision of private rooms, basic emergency shelters, and enhanced emergency shelters may place service recipients in open plan, dormitory-style rooms.


Safe and private bathroom and shower facilities may be separate rooms or stalls with locks. In programs serving families with young children, bathrooms must be appropriate and safe for the care of infants and toddlers (e.g., providing tubs and baby changing areas).
Examples: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides standards to ensure safety for full-size and non-full size cribs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that cribs are used by children under 90 centimeters (35 inches) tall.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.


PA-SH 6.02

Programs provide:
  1. sufficient supplies and equipment to meet service recipients’ needs;
  2. rooms for the provision of on-site services, as applicable;
  3. accommodations for informal gatherings of service recipients, including during inclement weather;
  4. adequate facilities for housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, storage, and administrative support functions;
  5. at least one room suitably furnished for the use of on-duty personnel; and
  6. private sleeping accommodations for personnel who sleep at the facility, if applicable.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.