What Is a Homeless Shelter Proposal?

A homeless shelter proposal is a formal proposal that aims to provide care, assistance, and protection for transients and people with no permanent residence. 

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, as of January 2020, there were about 580,466 people who experienced homelessness in the United States. Factors and variables that are significantly linked to the risk of homelessness include race, gender, and ethnicity. For instance, the likelihood of experiencing homelessness is higher in men compared to women.

Tips for Creating a Homeless Shelter Proposal

Whether you are an NGO planning to put up a facility or a government agency tasked to oversee the welfare of homeless people, a sound proposal is needed in order to gather the right support or funding to operate a shelter. Keep in mind the following tips when drafting your proposal:   

The devil is in the details: Like any proposal, it is essentially a sales proposal pitch. And in order to convince benefactors and other people of your idea, you need to offer as much useful information as you possibly can. Details are crucial if you want to justify the creation of a homeless shelter or explain how feasible the project is. It may be helpful to keep in mind these questions: why should the person invest in a homeless shelter? What care are you planning to provide in the shelter? People will normally ask what’s in it for them and it is your job to adequately answer their concerns. Expound on your mission: A formal proposal can contain a mission statement. In the case of a homeless shelter proposal, it can be an important driver for getting your message across. State your mission briefly but use action-oriented language. It is helpful to outline clear and specific objectives. A couple of objectives should be enough. For example, your mission could be to alleviate poverty, to help underprivileged youth, or to restore dignity to people who are poor and in need. Provide supporting facts: Strengthen your argument by backing up your proposal with supporting facts and related ideas. It would be wise to incorporate relevant statistics in your homeless shelter proposal. These could be data on the homeless population in the area, unemployment rates, poverty or hunger indexes, etc. Hard facts and statistics can add luster and credibility to your proposal, instead of relying on your personal arguments alone. Form a reliable team: You obviously cannot put up or operate a homeless shelter on your own. You need to form a strong and dependable team of various professionals. Ideally, it should be a group comprised of people who have the competence to handle different aspects of the facility. This includes areas such as social work and counseling, logistics, business, maintenance, labor, and even healthcare. It is, however, important to note that staffing will obviously depend on your proposed budget proposal too.

Services of a Homeless Shelter 

What does a homeless shelter actually do? Its objectives are pretty straightforward but it is your job to cover the specifics in your proposal. The examples below are some services that are commonly associated with homeless shelters.

Feeding Programs: A shelter provides food and sustenance to homeless people or those who are unable to buy food for themselves. Soup kitchens are popular in relief operations and community service letters programs. Homeless shelters usually incorporate this in addition to providing other basic necessities. Shelter and Other Necessities: From the name itself, a homeless shelter literally provides a roof above an individual’s head. For beggars, vagrants, and people who have nowhere else to go, homeless shelters serve as temporary facilities. Some transitional housing facilities even have showers or portable washrooms that transients can use. Toiletries and other necessities tend to be provided as well. Education and Employment Assistance: Aside from physiological needs, homeless shelters can also cater to emotional and psychological needs. Homeless people do not just fall under a single category. There are out-of-school youth or dropouts, abandoned elderly, vulnerable women, or people with disabilities. Some laudable facilities care not just about the physical health of the homeless person, but his overall well-being and future. Assistance can come in different forms like helping with the person’s learning needs analysis or helping them look for suitable work. Rehabilitation: It is a widely accepted notion that mental health is significantly linked with physical health. If a homeless person suffers from addiction or substance abuse, both physical and mental health are profoundly affected. But in some homeless shelters, there are dedicated teams that look after the rehabilitation of drug dependents in their facility. A support system is put in place for homeless people struggling with addiction problems wherein the shelter provides counseling and guidance.

How to Create a Homeless Shelter Proposal

Use any of the existing templates above to conveniently customize your own homeless shelter proposal. Also, make sure to keep in mind these important steps as you draft your proposal: 

Step 1: Brief Background

Your proposal should contain a brief introduction. The overview should be able to describe the relevance and purpose of your homeless shelter project. You can even include a brief mission or vision statement. Make sure your objectives are descriptive and specific. And lastly, do not forget to state basic information such as the name of the facility, location, and other relevant details.  

Step 2: Criteria for Eligibility 

Next, outline the program specifics and services you intend to offer in the homeless shelter. It is imperative that you also describe the criteria for those who can be admitted to the facility. Who are the people considered eligible to be taken in? Be direct and specific, whether that be the age range, sex, marital status, etc. 

Step 3: Facility Layout

To make your proposal appear more feasible and tangible, include a map or sketch of the facility. A simple mock-up can do as well. It is important to let other people and benefactors know what your concrete plan is for the homeless shelter. Specify and label the areas accordingly in your map. Indicate the dimensions or size of the floor plan and layout.    

Step 4: Financial Forecast

A significant section of your homeless shelter proposal should be dedicated to budget and funding. You need to describe in detail the projected cost or expenses of the facility. This includes manpower, overhead, and upkeep. The number of hired staff will be dependent on your budget plan and your capacity to cover all their salaries. If you are pitching the proposal to get external funding and support, it is crucial you lay down all relevant figures and numbers. Use graphs and charts to present your information in a more organized way.    


What is the purpose of a homeless shelter proposal?

The purpose of a homeless shelter proposal is to educate and persuade people in the hope that it will enjoin them to advocate for the needs of homeless people. Ideally, providing basic rights to shelter, food, and dignity is what every homeless shelter aims to achieve.

What are the components of a homeless shelter proposal?

Parts of a homeless shelter proposal normally include an executive summary, an introduction, project objectives, mission or goal statement, program outline, layout of the facility, and a budget breakdown.

Why are people homeless?

According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, there can be multiple reasons a person ends up homeless. These reasons include lack of affordable housing or the inability of the government to provide such housing; unemployment; poverty; mental illness and the absence of services to address the illness; substance abuse and the lack of needed services and support.

Just like designing a business plan, crafting a homeless shelter proposal needs both conviction and creativity. Whether your dream is to help the plight of homeless youth or to mitigate intergenerational poverty, you need a solid and compelling proposal to make that dream a reality. Feel free to browse and use the sample templates above to customize your own homeless shelter proposal!