Basic skills required to take care of one’s personal needs, such as grooming, housekeeping, budgeting, and using transportation.

Programs that consist of self-help residential or outpatient treatment facilities, harm reduction programs, individual or
group counseling, abstinence-only housing and support from community programs.

Any type of housing (rental/home ownership, permanent/temporary, for-profit/nonprofit) that costs less than 30% of a household’s income

The advanced stage of HIV disease is characterized by a severely compromised immune system that increases vulnerability to life-threatening opportunistic infections.

Federal legislation that defines the rights of access to and use of public accommodations, commercial facilities, and the workplace for people with disabilities. Also provides mechanisms for enforcement of rights of disabled persons against private persons, other entities (such as employers), and state and local governments.

People who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards. For example, a household living paycheck to paycheck is considered at-risk of homelessness due to their inability to sustain housing if an unexpected expense occurs, such as a medical bill or car repair.  Need assistance with rent?  Click here.

An intervention, method, or technique that has consistently been proven effective through the most rigorous scientific research and has been replicated across several cases or examples.

The level to which a member of a community is involved with and supports the ideas, concepts, processes, and projects that are advanced by the leadership.

The overall coordination of an individual’s use of services, which may include, but is not limited to, medical and mental health services, substance use services, and vocational training and employment.

Chronological record of interactions, observations and actions relating to an individual engaging in case management.

Detailed examples of particular agencies, programs, systems or activities that highlight success or failure of their implementation, as well as lessons learned.

A long lasting medical condition that can be controlled, but in many instances cannot be cured.

(1) An unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

Individuals or organizations working together to address problems and deliver outcomes that are not easily or effectively achieved by working alone.

The eligible applicant designated by the Continuum of Care (CoC) to collect and submit the CoC Registration, CoC Consolidated Application (which includes the CoC Application and CoC Priority Listing), and apply for CoC planning funds on behalf of the CoC during the CoC Program Competition. TCHC is the local Collaborative Applicant.

The practice of numerous services in one single location to improve service access and communication/collaboration between service providers.

Encompasses a wide variety of programs and services designed to meet local needs local needs that are delivered primarily by community agencies and sometimes through hospitals or health clinics.

Efforts intended to accomplish any of the following: develop and sustain strong relationships among individuals, develop and sustain involvement in neighborhood and community-based organizations and institutions, and develop group capacity to collaboratively identify and accomplish common goals.

The process of bringing people together to identify common interests and work collaboratively to accomplish common goals.

A condition in which a person has both mental illness and a substance use problem.

A long-term housing and community development plan developed by State and local governments and approved by HUD.


The Continuum of Care is a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency. It includes action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return to homelessness.

A uniform approach to housing people to ensure that the most vulnerable homeless individuals are housed first and all have fair and equal access to available housing.  Click for help with Coordinated Entry.

The process of legislating penalties for the performance of life-sustaining functions in public; also refers to the selective enforcement of existing ordinances specifically targeted toward people experiencing homelessness. For example, many jurisdictions issue citations for loitering and sleeping in public.

An immediate and short-term response to a crisis or emergency situation.

A time-limited evidence-based practice that mobilizes support for society’s most vulnerable individuals during periods of transition that facilitates community integration and continuity of care by ensuring a person has enduring ties to their community and support systems during these critical periods. 

Provides therapeutic, recreational, and social services to individuals who have chemical dependencies or emotional, psychological, developmental, physical, or behavioral needs.

An individual who has a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which is expected to be long-continued or indefinite duration; substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently; and is of such nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions.

Preparing someone to move from an institutional setting (child welfare system, criminal justice system, hospital, etc.) into a non-institutional setting either independently or with certain supports in place.

Intentional or unintentional actions that negatively affect people, based on biases and prejudices.

A strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternative housing arrangements and connecting them with services or financial assistance to help return to permanent housing.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner; abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.  Click here for assistance with Domestic Abuse.

A situation in which individuals are unable to maintain their housing situation and are forced to stay with a series of friends and/or extended family; accommodations are not permanent and may end at any time. *HUD does not consider individuals and families who are doubled up homeless.

When an individual is diagnosed with two different disorders, typically a combination of mental health and substance use diagnoses.

Providing emergency supports like shelter, food, and day programs to those experiencing homelessness.

Facilities providing a temporary or transitional place to stay for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  Click for assistance with Emergency Shelter.

Interventions that are new, innovative, and hold promise based on some level of evidence of effectiveness or change that is not research-based and/or sufficient to be deemed a promising or best practice.

Efforts to develop a relationship between a staff person and a client of the service system in which that staff person works, characterized by purposeful strategies and intentional interventions designed to connect the client with needed services.

Strategies and programs geared at renters facing the possibility of eviction; designed to keep individuals and families in their homes and prevent them from entering homelessness.  Click for assistance with Rent.

Federal laws designed to protect access to housing regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.

The indicator used by the U.S. government to determine who is eligible for federal subsidies and aid. Visit the US Department of Health and Human Services ( to determine guidelines.

Occurs when the number of people entering homelessness is less than the number of people moving out homelessness in any given month.

Transitional residential program focusing on reintegration of participants into the community, such as substance users or ex-offenders.

Strategies intended to reduce the negative consequences associated with drug use, including safer use, managed use, and non-punitive abstinence.

The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 amends and reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and provides funding for HUD-funded homeless efforts.

The entire continuum of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), from the point of infection through AIDS.

The Homeless Management Information System is the is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness.  Click for assistance with HMIS.

An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; AND is an individual who: has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately-operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

The federal government’s major program providing rental subsidies to assist very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.

When a household spends more than 30 percent of its pre-tax income on housing costs; it is estimated that this impacts approximately 39 million American households.

A system which can quickly identify and quickly connect people who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness to housing assistance and other services; an effective system works because it aligns a community, its programs and services around one common goal- to end homelessness.

A recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centers on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing, followed by provision of additional supports and services as needed.

The actions of government, including legislation and program delivery, which have a direct or indirect impact on housing supply and availability, housing standards, and urban planning.

Housing Quality Standards; standards established to guarantee the minimum quality criteria necessary for the health and safety of tenants and ensures decent, safe and sanitary housing conditions.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development

The trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning and others

The skills essential for living independently, including managing money, shopping, cooking, and others.

Income provided through employment that is at an adequate level to afford necessities such as housing, food, and medical services.

Eliminates policies that make it difficult to enter shelter, stay in shelter or access housing and income opportunities.


This term includes all people who have been homeless for long periods of time, as evidenced by repeated (three or more times) or extended (a year or more) stays in the streets, emergency shelters, or other temporary settings, sometimes cycling between homelessness and hospitals, jails, or prisons.

Occurs when a non-profit housing provider leases dedicated rental units from a property owner, and in turn subleases those units to qualified tenants.

Named after authors Representative Stewart B. McKinney of Connecticut and Bruce F. Vento of Minnesota, this 1987 federal legislation established programs and funding to serve homeless people.

Provides medical benefits to low-income and disabled people who have no medical insurance. Although the Federal Government establishes general guidelines for the program, the Medicaid program requirements are established by each state.

A federal program that provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, those who have permanent kidney failure, and certain people with disabilities.

A person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act; it also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.  Click for assistance with Mental Health.

An evidence based practice in working with clients that has proven to be successful through the service provider allowing the client to direct the change, rather than telling the client what they need to do. This approach is about having a conversation about change.

Not In My BackYard: describes the phenomenon in which residents of a neighborhood designate a new development (ex: shelter, affordable housing, group home) or change in occupancy of an existing development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area.

Services and programs involved in bringing services directly to where people are, rather than requiring someone to go into an agency.

A strategy to earn income that refers to begging for money, food, and other items.

Affordable rental housing in which the tenants have the legal right to remain in the unit if they wish, as defined by the terms of a renewable lease agreement. Tenants enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of typical rental housing, so long as they abide by the (reasonable) conditions of their lease.

Long-term rental or housing subsidies combined with individualized, flexible and voluntary support services for people with high needs related to physical or mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse.

Provides a snapshot of the number of people experiencing homelessness on a specific date in our community; usually occurs during the last week of January.

Refers to when communities work upstream to reduce risks of homelessness for individuals and families and typically involves universal interventions directed at whole communities.

Intervention that rapidly connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services.

Refers to instances when a person’s SSI, SSD, or public assistance check is payable to someone other than the recipient (ex: a family member or an agency).

Housing programs for the severely mentally ill (link to definition of severely mentally ill below) which also have no limit on length of stay, serve hard-to-reach homeless persons, provide 24-hour residence for an unspecified duration, and have overnight occupancy limited to 25 persons.

A form of identification specific to our Continuum which is required to access any and all homeless services including shelter, meals, and supportive services.  Click for assistance with Scan Card.

The process of maintaining and promoting one’s health, well-being and development to meet every day challenges and stressors.

Inter- or intra-organizational efforts supporting individuals across a range of services.

When a household spends more than 50 percent of its pre-tax income on housing costs; it is estimated that this impacts approximately 19 million American households.

A serious and persistent mental or emotional disorder (ex: schizophrenia, mood disorders) that interrupts people’s abilities to carry out a range of daily activities such as self-care, interpersonal relationships, maintaining housing, and maintaining employment or education.

A form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. 

A facility that offers residents a single, furnished room, usually with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Revenue generating businesses that have a specific focus on creating a socially-related good or service.

Benefits provided to disabled or blind individuals who are “insured” by workers` contributions to the Social Security trust fund.

Misperception that results in bias towards an individual or group.

The use of all and any drugs and alcohol.  Click for assistance with substance use.

SSI is cash assistance payments to aged, blind and disabled people (including children under age 18) who have limited income and resources.

Formalized coordinated approach to planning, service delivery, and management with the goal of aligning services to avoid duplication, improve information sharing, increase efficiency, and provide a seamless system of care for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Occurs when other systems of care and support (education, criminal justice, healthcare, housing) fail, requiring vulnerable populations to become homeless when other mainstream services could have prevented homelessness.

Supportive, yet temporary, accommodations meant to bridge the gap between homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, supervision, support, life skills, education and other services.

An event outside the range of usual human experiences that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone and cause victimization.

A practice framework in which services are provided in a way that the service provider understands, recognizes, and responds to the effects of all types of trauma may have had on a person experiencing homelessness.

Those experiencing homelessness who are living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation, such as cars, under bridges and in abandoned buildings.  Click for assistance with Street Outreach.

Organizations whose primary mission is to serve individuals who are currently or have previously experienced victimization including intimate partner violence, stalking, and witnessing crime.

Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool; a survey administered both to individuals and families to determine risk and level of need when assisting those experiencing homelessness and those at-risk of homelessness.

Individuals under the age of 24 who lack parental, foster, or institutional care and as a result are experiencing homelessness.  Click for assistance with Youth Homelessness.