Emergency shelters provide people with services that include a temporary place to sleep, clean clothes and nutritious food to eat. In some cases, emergency shelters provide medical referrals, counseling and assistance with permanent employment and housing placement.
Emergency shelters offer services to men, women and families who find themselves in crisis. Some emergency shelters are geared towards runaway teens and provide services to help reunite families and prevent runaways from sleeping on the streets. Some are specific to battered women who seek refuge from their abusive partners. The exact services provided by emergency shelters greatly depends on the specific shelter and which group of people the shelter is set up to assist.
Emergency shelters often operate on government grants and private donations, and they are often full to capacity. Different shelters have different requirements in order to qualify for the services being offered. In order to qualify for the services offered by emergency shelters, people must be willing to take all available measures to correct the issues that create the need for help. For example, a drug addict may be required to attend drug counseling meetings, and a battered woman may be required to attend support counseling in order to qualify for any of the additional services being offered.