Disabilities in Shelters

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are 564,708 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the US….269,991 (47.6%) are disabled and unable to work. Considering the high number of those experiencing homelessness who are also living with a disability, shelters should be informed on how to best serve this protected class.

Discrimination can occur in shelters, as it can occur anywhere. In shelters it commonly manifests itself through differential treatment or denial of housing.  The Fair Housing Act applies to various people and entities involved in various stages of housing transactions. Shelters must abide by fair housing laws, which include providing reasonable accommodations and maintaining an environment free of harassment, intimidation, threats, or coercion from providers and other residents.

Shelters must also abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against people with disabilities. General nondiscrimination requirements include ensuring an equal opportunity for all to participate and benefit, prohibiting exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment as well as prohibiting eligibility criteria that screen out persons with disabilities unless criteria are necessary.

More information on Fair Housing in Connecticut:


More information on the Americans with Disabilities Act 


Disabilities in Shelters Resources


If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Tashmia Bryant, Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (860) 721-7876, ext. 116 or training@cceh.org