Organizations that provide hotel vouchers to homeless people include Catholic Charities, Salvation Army and United Way. These vouchers are typically a short-term solution and only valid for one or two nights.
Hotel or motel vouchers are typically given to recently homeless people facing some form of crisis or unusual circumstance. Non-profit organizations that offer these services typically have arrangements with local motels or hotels to temporarily accommodate individuals seeking help. Vouchers for housing units or local shelters are more common compared to motel or hotel vouchers.
Hotel vouchers add capacity to the homeless shelter system when emergency shelters are full, especially during summer heat waves or colder winter months. The vouchers may be targeted at seniors, single parents with children, the sick or other specific groups. Low-cost or free transportation may also be provided to and from the hotel voucher distribution point.
Many such programs have restrictions. Some programs may require eligible persons to be aggressively seeking employment or working in some capacity. Others require the recipient of the voucher to report to the agency the day after his stay at the hotel. Some vouchers are reserved for specific situations, such as a person fleeing an abusive environment or a family that suddenly loses its home in a flood or fire.