Homelessness and Shelters
Homeless shelters are temporary residences for homeless people. Homeless shelters are usually open to anyone, without regard to the reason for need. Some shelters limit their clientele by gender or age. In the United States, most homeless shelters expect clients to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep, or if the shelter also provides meals, to eat. In Philadelphia, the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) mission is to assist/prepare adults and families for self-sufficiency and independent living. OSH offers a network of shelters, boarding homes, and refers families, couples and single individuals to available housing resources. Living in a homeless shelter for several months to a year is often the only way that low-income families in need of affordable housing can get into limited subsidized and public housing in Philadelphia.