What to do if you are going to be homeless

If you only have a few days before you may become homeless, it is helpful to start making plans.  Depending on how much time you have before you might become homeless, try one or all of the following:


One, try to locate an assistance program near you.  Some agencies provide homeless prevention assistance.  These programs may have waiting lists, require an appointment for an interview, or have certain restrictions on who they serve.  For these reasons, the sooner you can find a program that may be able to help you, the better.  The Michigan Department of Human Services offers such assistance and can be reached by calling 517-373-2035. You can also visit them online at www.michigan.gov/dhs.


Two, apply for public housing and or section 8 housing assistance.  Waiting lists for public and section 8 housing vary across the country, but in many cases, the waiting list for public housing is shorter than for section 8 housing.  The phone number for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority is 517-373-1974.  You can also visit them online at www.michigan.gov/mshda.


Third, apply for transitional housing.  In some communities, transitional housing is an option for people who are homeless.  Transitional housing programs vary greatly across the country as far as who they serve and what their requirements are.  Again, many transitional houses will tell you that they have waiting lists, but remember to tell them that you are calling so that you can get on that list.  To find out more about transitional housing, contact the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness at 517-485-6536.  You can also visit them online at www.mihomeless.org.


Fourth, make sure your identification card is current and available.  If your driver’s license has expired or has been taken away for some reason, reapply or get your state identification card processed.  If you only have a print-out of your social security card, get a new card to replace it as soon as possible.  Many shelters and employers have strict ID requirements, and it will make things easier if you have these things ready or in process.


Fifth, make an emergency pack.  If you have more than two bags for yourself, or one for each child, try to find someone you know who can and will hold your things for you.  Almost every shelter has limits on the amount of baggage people can carry with them because they don’t have much space.


For more information, please contact The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, at 517-485-6536.  You can visit them online at www.mihomeless.org.


You can also contact The Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency, at 313-833-2500.


Phone code: 1920

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