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
As you may know, the ADA Coalition of Connecticut (ADACC) promotes public and private compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is the only organization in the state dedicated to training and educating individuals, municipalities, state agencies, businesses and other groups about the ADA.
Municipalities with 50 or more employees are required to designate at least one responsible employee to coordinate ADA compliance. While municipalities with fewer than 50 employees and other organizations are not required to designate an ADA Coordinator, it is strongly recommended.
ADACC has identified nine topics that are most crucial for ADA Coordinator training and offers them in four sessions on a rotating basis throughout the year in central and southern Connecticut. A schedule of classes and registration information can be viewed HERE.
Disabilities in Shelters Resources
- CCEH Disabilities in Shelters Webinar Slides – October 2017
- HUD “Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act”
- HUD “Disability Rights in Housing”
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Tashmia Bryant, Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (860) 721-7876, ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org