You may be considered homeless if you are:
- Sharing another person’s house, such as a friend or relative, because your family cannot afford to live alone or because you lost your housing or have nowhere else safe to go. This is often called “doubling up.” For example, you are doubling up if your family is sharing housing with others because a parent lost a job. As another example, you are doubling up if you move in with a friend to escape domestic violence or abuse;
- Staying in a motel, hotel, trailer park, or camping ground because you do not have other adequate housing;
- Living in an emergency shelter or transitional shelters, such as a youth shelter, family shelter, domestic violence shelter, or transitional living program;
- Being abandoned in a hospital;
- Staying in a private or public place not designed for or usually used for sleeping;
- Living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, bus or train station, or camping ground; or
- Living in “substandard housing,” which might include housing that does not have water, electricity, or heat; is infested with vermin or mold; lacks a working kitchen or toilet, or presents unreasonable dangers to residents.
Even if your housing situation does not fit any of these examples, you might still be considered homeless if you are staying somewhere that is not a “fixed, regular, and adequate” nighttime residence:
- A “fixed” residence is stationary and permanent. For example, a house or apartment is “fixed,” but a car is not.
- A “regular” residence is used on a regular and nightly basis. For example, a home your family owns and can stay in for the long term is “regular,” but an emergency shelter is used on a short-term basis and is not “regular.”
- An “adequate” residence is one that meets the physical, emotional, and psychological needs that a home typically provides. For example, an “adequate” home is one that is warm, safe, and reliable, but an abandoned building is not “adequate.”