Housing and Shelter

Transitional or supportive housing and homeless shelters can help stabilize people with mental and/or substance use disorders who are experiencing homelessness.

Housing and shelter offer more than just places to stay for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. They provide a range of essential recovery support services, including behavioral health, employment, and mainstream benefits.

Several factors often lead to homelessness, including mental and/or substance use disorders, personal histories of trauma or violence, poverty, and personal characteristics. Housing and shelter programs can help determine and address the root causes of homelessness to improve health outcomes and ensure greater stability. Types of housing and shelters include:

  • Emergency shelters: These are often the first place people experiencing economic shock turn to for support through a wide range of services.
  • Permanent supportive housing: These are safe and stable housing environments with voluntary and flexible supports and services.
  • Transitional housing: This typically involves a temporary residence of up to 24 months with wrap-around services to help people stabilize their lives.

Find more information on shelters and supportive and transitional housing approaches:

Learn more about the linkages between poverty and housing.

Access more behavioral health and homelessness resources or search SAMHSA’s Store.

Last Updated: 04/19/2016