Shelter Calculator

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Interactive Tool | April 15, 2010

Providing adequate emergency shelter capacity is a critical component of any strategy to prevent unsheltered (street) homelessness. This calculator illustrates the relationship between shelter demand, length of stay, and minimum required shelter bed inventory. It takes the annual demand for shelter and average length of stay as inputs and produces estimates of minimum shelter inventory as outputs. The calculator is for illustrative purposes and does not take into account:

• Unused shelter capacity (100% occupancy rate assumed)

• Unmet shelter need

• Seasonal variation.

Because families are generally not served in facilities for individuals (and vice versa), there are separate inputs and outputs for families and individuals. The calculator also allows the side-by-side comparisons of two different scenarios.

Shelter Need Calculator
Scenario #1 Scenario #2
Inputs: Shelter Demand
Annual Persons In Families Seeking Shelter
Annual Individuals Seeking Shelter
Inputs: Length of Stay
Average Family Length of Stay (Days)
Average Individual Length of Stay (Days)
Outputs: Minimum Shelter Needed
Minimum Family Shelter Beds Needed
Minimum Individual Shelter Beds Needed
Total Minimum Shelter Beds Needed