Shelter Decision Tree
When someone contacts 211 LA looking for shelter, 211 LA's Community Resource Advisors use this decision tree to find the appropriate type of shelter that meets an individual or family's needs. For a glossary of housing and shelter terms, click here.
Use the searches under the categories below to find the housing resources for each type of shelter:
The Homeless Family Solutions System (HFSS) is case management and housing plan development for families and/or pregnant women at high risk or in their third trimester. To connect with the HFSS, call 2-1-1 or visit one of the Family Solution Centers listed below. From Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm families that meet the basic eligibility criteria are warm transferred to the closest Family Solutions Center (FSC) site within their community of origin. The FSC coordinates further assessment, eligibility and housing placement.
From Monday through Friday from 5:01pm to 8:00am families in dire need of emergency housing are accommodated through the use of motel vouchers (if available) and referred to the closest FSC in their community of origin the following morning. This assistance is also available on Holidays and Weekends all day starting at 8am. Families that have a place to stay but are at future risk for homelessness are advised to call 2-1-1 Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm to be connected to an FSC site.
Search below for the local Family Solution Center
Search below for other local shelter options
All single adults (male and female) that are experiencing homelessness, should be assessed by the Coordinated Entry System (CES). CES assessments (the VI-SPDAT) are provided by many outreach organizations as well as designated assessment times as many Homeless Services organizations.
Please see the attached CES information for times and contact people with in the CES organization. Once an individual is assessed, matchers work the available beds/units to find the best program based on their assessment score. CES does not provide emergency shelter but is part of the larger process of finding longer term housing solutions. - Search for local resources near you below.
Drop In Centers provide people experiencing homelessness with a place to talk with caseworkers and access other services like showers, meals, storage, temporary mailing address. Many Drop In centers are also able to help in obtaining important documents such as birth certificates and ID. Drop In centers provide a good way for individuals to receive needed services and meet with case workers and others to assist them in navigating the services available in the social safety net. - Search for local Drop In Centers near you below.
Winter Shelter is intended for single individuals (men and women). Shelters serve a hot evening meal and a morning meal (may be provided as a sack breakfast). Winter Shelters are open nightly, participants have to leave during the day and beds cannot be reserved. Depending on the shelter location, transportation may be provided. For the most up to date information contact the Winter Shelter Hotline (serviced by 2-1-1) at 1-800-548-6047.
Veterans in need of assistance can text for help. Text “VET” to 52211 to speak with a Veteran peer at 2-1-1. Veterans may be eligible for a variety of housing benefits, including Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) and should work with one of the organizations listed below to determine what is available and be connected with the appropriate programs. The agencies are partners in providing Veteran services and may have a number of ways to provide assistance. - Search for local agencies near you below.
Youth and young adults are identified as individuals typically between 18-24. There are services for younger youth including runaway shelters.Youth in these shelters are also connected with the Coordinated Entry System (CES) and other case management for more permanent housing placement (including supportive housing options). - search for local resources near you below.
Drop In Centers can be a good resource for young people who may be experiencing homelessness to have a place to go. Drop In Centers provide a safe place and support, and also can provide connection to other resources such as housing and healthcare. Youth that have been in the Foster Care system through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) may qualify for additional programs and resources through age 24.
LGBTQ individuals may find themselves in unsafe home environments due to their sexuality or gender identity. The following resources provide support as well as housing in safe environments.
For individuals that may be dealing with a substance abuse problem, inpatient treatment may be an option for them. These programs help with treatment of the substance abuse while providing housing. If someone is unsure if they need assistance with their substance abuse, they can access a Community Assessment Service Center (CASC) for assessment and placement in the appropriate treatment program for them. Call 2-1-1 or search CASC at www.211la.org. - search for local resources near you below.
Individuals that have been recently released from incarceration can benefit from Re-Entry programs. Please visit our Resource Fairs and other events page that are regularly scheduled each month. - search for local resources near you below.
Maternity Homes can assist pregnant women during and after delivery. Some programs also accept women with children. - search for local Maternity Homes near you below.
Individuals experiencing domestic violence that are in need of shelter must reach out to a domestic violence hotline to coordinate shelter and other resources for the safety of the victim. Addresses are confidential for security purposes. - search for local resources near you below.
Individuals that currently have housing, may experience difficulties in meeting financial obligations or have other concerns. The resources below provide help with eviction prevention or foreclosure prevention as well as Landlord/Tenant assistance.
Search for Eviction Prevention resources near you below.
Search for Foreclosure Prevention resources near you below.