U.S. Departments Definitions of Homeless essay

U.S.Departments Definitions of Homeless

U.S.Departments Definitions of Homeless

Similaritiesbetween HUD and ED Homeless Definition

The U.S. Department of Housing &amp Urban Development (HUD) and theU.S. Department of Education (ED) use similar definitions ofhomeless. For instance, both agencies define homeless as people wholack consistent, secure, and acceptable nighttime habitation. BothHUD and ED consider emergency shelters, camping grounds, transitionalhousing, a private or public place not deliberated for accommodation,cars, buses, trains, stations, parks and usual places ofaccommodation for human beings as homeless. The two agencies labelhomeless as individuals whose primary residences are institutionsintended for temporary accommodation for the mentally ill, assemblyshelters, or welfare hotels but are still offered to them as a placeof temporary accommodation. Similarly, both HUD and ED considerspersons whose primary habitation is a private or public place notdesignated for shelter or is normally used for sleeping by humanbeings as homeless.

Differencesbetween HUD and ED Homeless Definition

As much as both HUD and ED have similarities in defining homeless,some significant differences exist between the meanings of homelessas used by the two agencies. Furthermore, the companies differ in thedefinition extensions and inclusions of the subject due todifferences in the federal statutes they serve.

ED HomelessDefinition

ED deals with learning. In a case point, the ED meaning of homelessincludes both families without homes and the youths who areunaccompanied by families (National Center for Homeless Education,2016). This definition extends to people who have primary nighttimeresidences that are publically operated shelters established to offertemporary living accommodations (National Center for HomelessEducation, 2016). In addition to the aforementioned similardefinition with HUD, ED considers individuals who share housing ofother people because of economic hardship, housing loss or relatedreasons as being homeless. For ED, people residing in hotels, trailerparks, motels and hotels due to lack of adequate unconventionalaccommodation gives a description of homeless. More so, homeless isliving in substandard housing. Furthermore, ED considers migratorychildren to qualify as homeless for the reasons of the circumstancesthey live in along with support from the Secondary and ElementaryEducation Act. This section includes children who are waiting forForster care placements.

HUD HomelessDefinition

HUD, on the other hand, defines homeless differently by classifyingthe phenomenon into four categories. In the first class, apart fromsharing the definition with ED, that homeless is the lack of asecure, consistent, and acceptable nighttime habitats, the HUD termsliteral homelessness to include inhabitation in abandoned buildings.HUD extends homeless to include the subset of people who reside inemergency shelters not meant for human habitation as well those whoare exiting the kind of temporary accommodation (National Center forHomeless Education, 2016). The second category further accuratelyterms homeless as families and individuals who will imminently losetheir primary nighttime habitat within fourteen days withoutresources, subsequent residence and support network. In the thirdcategory, HUD extends homeless to mean families with children,unaccompanied youth and those individuals who comply with the federalstatute definition of homeless (National Center for HomelessEducation, 2016). Eventually, in the fourth category, the HUD defineshomeless differently as families or individuals fleeing or attemptingto run away from domestic violence, life-threatening conditions,dating violence and sexual assault among other dangerous conditionsthat relate to violence with no resources, subsequent residences orsupport networks.


The HUD and ED similarly define homeless as people who lack secure,regular and suitable nighttime residence. However, the two agenciesvary extensions inclusions of the meaning of homeless. ED addseconomic hardships that deprive housing affordability, lack ofappropriate unconventional accommodation and migratory children inits definition of homeless. The HUD includes the house sharingaspect, imminent loss of primary housing within fourteen days,unaccompanied youth, families and situations covered under federalstatute along with leaving a central residential place to flee fromviolence as a description of homeless.


National Center for Homeless Education (2016). Housing and EducationCollaborations to Serve Homeless Children, Youth, and Families. BestPractices In Interagency Collaboration Brief Series. NationalCenter for Homeless Education, 1-13.