Shelter Question Test

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Toolkits | April 30, 2012

This set of questions can be used to determine if a household requires shelter entry or if diversion is a possibility. Households with no other housing options, or whose only housing option puts them in danger, should be admitted to emergency shelter. The Shelter Question Test comes from the YWCA in Canton, OH.

Shelter Question Test

The following questions assist in determining the urgency of the shelter applicant’s request for assistance.

  • Where did you stay last night?
  • Why do you have to leave the place you stayed at last night?
  • What is your relationship to the person who gave you a place to stay last night?
  • How long have you stayed at this location?
  • Do you pay anything?
  • When do you have to leave?
  • If we can't house you where will you stay tonight?
  • Can you find a place for a couple of nights?
  • What is your relationship to the person who is giving you a place to stay while you wait for a shelter or housing bed to open?
  • If the person who gave you a place to stay allows you to continue to stay over night, will that person put her/his own housing in jeopardy (violating lease)?
  • Where do you have your personal belongings?
  • Do you any income?
  • How much money do you have (to determine if a motel or rent is possible)?

Taken together, the answers should indicate the level of urgency and assist in ensuring that those with the highest risk of going on the street or unsafe situations (domestic violence, assault, sex abuse or child abuse) are sheltered first.