Area Covered

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Definition of Chronic Homelessness

Hi Everyone—


As part of Greater New Haven Opening Doors, the Re-Tooling the Crisis Response workgroup was asked to discuss the definition of an “episode” when talking about the definition of Chronic Homelessness.  As you know the current definition is an “unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for one (1) year or more OR has had at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years.  To be considered chronically homeless a person must have been on the streets or in an emergency shelter, (not in transitional housing) during these episodes of homelessness.”  HUD has indicated that local communities need to define “an episode.”


Because of the rapid pace of the 100-Day Challenge, the Steering Committee requested more information about the CH definition for the purposes of the 100 days.  A brief survey of housing programs indicated that episodes were ranging from 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, to 2 months.   The Greater New Haven Opening Doors Steering Committee agreed that the community definition of an “episode” would be 2 weeks  for the purpose of the 100-Day campaign.  GNHOD is asking that all PSH programs use the definition of 2 weeks when determining someone’s eligibility for a program. 


However, Kellyann Day (NHHR) & I, Co-Chairs of Re-Tooling the Crisis Response workgroup, will be asking statewide organizations to consult with HUD regarding long-term direction about an episode.   Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.




Leigh Shields-Church, LCSW


New Haven Shelter Plus Care

319 Peck Street

Building #1

New Haven, CT  06513

Ph:  203-764-6330

Fax: 203-764-6337

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