How To Get Into a Shelter

If you are looking to go into a homeless shelter:

  • Call 211. – tell them you are homeless with nowhere to sleep tonight. You will be given the names of at least 2 shelters to call .  Call them.
  • Call 211 and ask for the FAMILY SOLUTIONS referral.
  • Use the internet or telephone books to find shelters – show up in person. This is best to do early in the morning when the staff is doing “Intake” appointments. Have as much information on you as you can such as photo ID, social security , etc.  Have a full list of everyone who is in your group or family if you are not living alone.
  • If you are on county cash assistance or other public program, go to the DPSS office and ask for a Homeless Case Manager interview.
  • Once you find a shelter : show up or contact them regularly. Squeak. The squeaky wheel gets the grease so let them know you need them.
  • Find out the name of the agency who is doing the case management for the shelter or housing. In some cases an agency may own and run shelters but contract to other agencies for the day – to – day operations. The list you really need to be on is the  subcontracted agency.
  • In the winter – go to the Winter Shelter in your area.

Most homeless shelters are nicer than what you have seen in the movies.

Be aware that you will not be allowed to bring drugs, alcohol, weapons, or firearms with you.

6 thoughts on “How To Get Into a Shelter

  1. It’s sad I am in Lancaster CA, and myself and my aunt whom I take care of (but apparently she is not disabled enough and just under the age to qualify for elderly) we’re just evicted from our home. We have our two husky dogs and are about to run out of money. I have tried dpss to get hotel vouchers to last us until her widows survivors fund comes in but they only have openings in downtown LA which we have no transportation to get to. We have no other family and it’s like our friends suddenly have forgotten to call us back. We housed people when they needed it but we don’t qualify for any services really to help us. Homeless shelters out here do not accept dogs and it would literally destroy my aunt to give them up. If we could make it to the 21st we would be fine and able to support ourselves but we are losing hope. Isn’t there anything we can do?

  2. looking for places to sleep that are friendly to someone homeless and in a wheelchair…anywhere in Los Angeles or San Gabriel Valley…I am very easy to get along with and dont disrespect property or areas with trash or being loud…can contact me also on e mail at

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