10 Best Charities Providing Shelter for the Homeless (Complete 2024 List)

10 Best Charities Providing Shelter for the Homeless (Complete 2024 List)

By
Diana Stancu

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Homelessness is a rapidly increasing social issue, with over 653,000 people in the US living on the streets. In addition, during recent years, the number of unhoused individuals has increased by 12%. What’s more, 31% of homeless people have a serious mental illness, while nearly 50% of them have at least one comorbidity, from depression to cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, charities nationwide are fighting to provide critical housing services and support people throughout their journey to owning a home. So we had to ask: What are the best charities providing shelter for the homeless?

The best charities providing shelter for the homeless are The Salvation Army USA, Covenant House, and LifeMoves. Other charities, like DePaul USA and Abode Services, provide critical emergency services and long-term housing to the homeless. 

Whether you want to help homeless people gain access to emergency shelters in times of crisis, help them receive long-term housing and rehabilitation services, or ensure that they can transition to a personal home, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities providing shelter for the homeless are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities Providing Shelter for the Homeless Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over North America and some countries in South America, offering critical shelter services to those who cannot afford a home.

Most of the charities below work to reduce the number of people living on the streets by connecting them with emergency shelters where they provide healthcare services, hygiene support, and nutritious meals. In addition, they help residents to continue their education or find job training and employment opportunities to help them become self-sufficient and ultimately afford a personal home. 

Furthermore, these charities transition the homeless from emergency shelters to permanent supportive housing, and offer rehabilitation services, such as mental counseling and budget planning. In addition, they help residents to continue their education or find job training and employment opportunities to help them become self-sufficient and ultimately afford a personal home. 

Yet, all these charities share the same goal of providing a safe, welcoming place for the homeless to spend their nights. 

These Are the 10 Best Charities Providing Shelter for the Homeless in 2024

Below are our favorite charities providing shelter for the homeless (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

The Salvation Army USA: Doing the Most Good

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Love Beyond Shelter | The Salvation Army

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Salvation Army USA has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

The Salvation Army USA

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What they do:

The Salvation Army USA runs homeless shelters nationwide for men, women, and veterans who experience housing challenges. For example, their emergency housing facilities serve short-term needs such as hygiene care and emotional support. They also run transitional living centers to shift the homeless to permanent living situations by providing case management, job skills training, and job placement. Furthermore, their Permanent Supportive Shelters have extended services to help low-income seniors and families rise above the poverty line. In addition, they serve unhoused youth with specialized shelters and programs to help them reintegrate into society, continue their education, and find a network of support. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, The Salvation Army USA provides more than 8 million nights of sheltering each year across 558 housing facilities. For instance, their Emergency Shelters house roughly 550,000 people each night. Moreover, they have built nearly 2,000 youth shelters nationwide, serving over 10,000 houseless teens across Los Angeles and New York alone. In addition, they opened a 21-story senior residence with 156 apartments to help homeless or at-risk seniors rebuild their lives. Furthermore, in 2023, they provided permanent housing to 12,800 people and supported 32,000 individuals from their shelters to begin job training or get hired. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Salvation Army USA through their website. In addition, you can donate personal goods or your vehicle. You can also support them by volunteering and fundraising

2

Covenant House: Providing Love, Shelter, and Hope to Youth Facing Homelessness

Logo for Covenant House
Youth Homelessness: Journey to Wholeness and Independence

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Their transparency & ratings:

Covenant House has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our strengths-based programs are designed to empower young people to rise and overcome adversity, today and in the future.”

Covenant House

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What they do:

Covenant House supports homeless youth by offering crisis care and sheltering to help them rehabilitate after unstable periods of trauma and abuse. Also, their crisis shelters provide a supportive environment where young people receive nutritious meals, healthcare services, and mental health counseling. Furthermore, the charity has transitional housing programs where youth can stay for up to two years to prepare for lifelong independence and stable housing to break the cycle of homelessness. For example, they help young people develop basic life skills and financial literacy by participating in educational programs and job training to obtain employment with long-term career prospects.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Covenant House has offered crisis and long-term shelter to more than 1.5 million young people experiencing homelessness. Today, they offer housing to 2,200 youth every night and have transitional living programs in 24 cities across the US, Canada, and Mexico. For example, in 2023, they provided 790,000 nights of shelter to houseless youth. In the same year, their housing programs assisted nearly 6,000 youth to access job trainings or start a career. Furthermore, they supported 3,200 young people to enroll or remain in schools and helped 2,600 youth to move into a personal home. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Covenant House through their website. In addition, you can advocate for the rights of unsheltered youth or join their Sleep Out global movement to end youth homelessness.

3

LifeMoves: Creating Stable Homes Builds Vibrant Communities 

Logo for LifeMoves
LifeMoves Mountain View - Site Tour

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Their transparency & ratings:

LifeMoves has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We address the fundamental need for shelter and help individuals and families experiencing homelessness to return to stable housing and self-sufficiency.”

LifeMoves

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What they do:

LifeMoves provides holistic support for families in crisis across their family shelters. For example, they run childcare lessons and educational services for children, along with classes for parents, to improve their life skills, such as financial literacy and nutrition. Furthermore, they support single adults or couples who are homeless with behavioral health services and assist with finding new employment. In this way, they help families and single adults in their temporary housing programs to become self-sufficient and find a home of their own. Moreover, they have dedicated shelters for homeless veterans to receive medical respite and reintegrate into civilian life. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Each year, LifeMoves invests around $60 million across their 26 homeless shelters nationwide to provide nearly 290,000 nights of housing to 7,000 people in need. Also, they help more than 2,100 homeless people who live in their living facilities to return to personal housing. Furthermore, between 2020 and 2023, around 80% of the families and single adults who secured permanent housing after staying in their shelters kept that housing one year later. Also, in 2023, they provided 80 hours per day of tailored case management to unhoused individuals across their shelters.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to LifeMoves through their website. You can also contribute by hosting a fundraiser, becoming a volunteer, or donating urgently needed items

4

DePaul USA: Homelessness Has No Place

Logo for DePaul USA
Depaul USA photo film

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Their transparency & ratings:

DePaul USA has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We fight to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it.”

DePaul USA

⚒️

What they do:

DePaul USA offers housing programs to provide a safe, comforting place for homeless people. For instance, they have temporary shelters for short-term stays and case management assistance to rehabilitate vulnerable individuals after living on the streets. Then, the charity moves them into permanent supportive housing where they offer long-term services, from mental health counseling to employment assistance. In this way, they help chronically homeless people to begin sustainable jobs, build social networks, and ultimately find a home of their own. In addition, they provide affordable living facilities with below-market rent for low-income or disabled men and women who would otherwise become homeless. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, DePaul USA has expanded their network of shelters across 10 cities to offer 23 housing programs for adults and youth experiencing homelessness. Moreover, their youth program helps over 95% of participants each year to find a personal home and continue their education, while supporting 75% of them to increase their income. For example, in 2023, they served 5,444 unhoused individuals and provided nearly 42,000 nights of shelter and 79,000 meals across their facilities. In the same year, they helped 204 people find employment and served 57 people through permanent housing and long-term holistic services. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to DePaul USA through their website. You can also help them by becoming a volunteer or supporting their fundraising events. In addition, you can join their music festival to raise awareness of student homelessness.

5

Abode Services: Because Everyone Should Have a Home

Logo for Abode Services
Journey Home Video 2024

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Their transparency & ratings:

Abode Services has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We work tirelessly to develop and implement innovative programs to end homelessness.”

Abode Services

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What they do:

Abode Services has a “Housing First” strategy that connects homeless people with living facilities as soon as they need them, without requiring them to pass interventions and behavioral steps to qualify for shelter. In this way, they provide permanent supportive housing, where single adults and families can stabilize their personal lives and access employment support to afford a personal home. In addition, they provide property management services for homeless individuals, veterans, and children exiting foster care where they offer supportive services, such as therapy and healthcare. Furthermore, they have real estate projects to continuously expand their living facilities. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Abode Services has expanded their network to serve 8 counties from the San Francisco Bay Area. They have also built 145 studios and a 60-unit veteran-focused building complex through their real estate development efforts to expand their housing network. In addition, their property management program has provided 30 properties for more than 600 individuals and families. Furthermore, in 2023, they sheltered 10,000 homeless individuals across 143 long-term housing programs. In the same year, they sheltered up to 6,800 people each night and helped 2,600 vulnerable people to find better employment and obtain a personal home. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Abode Services on their website. You can also support them through corporate giving or by hosting a fundraising event

6

Pine Street Inn: Creating Permanent Homes and Community for Everyone

Logo for Pine Street Inn
Pine Street Inn: Rebuilding Lives for 50 Years

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Their transparency & ratings:

Pine Street Inn has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“No matter how they arrive at our shelters, our goal is to move individuals out of homelessness as quickly as possible, and to ensure long-term stability and success.”

Pine Street Inn

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What they do:

Pine Street Inn runs emergency shelters that provide guests with a safe place to sleep alongside nutritious meals, healthcare services, and showers. They also help the homeless to transition to their permanent housing facilities where the charity offers access to job training and mental health resources. Furthermore, they help vulnerable individuals to find a stable, personal home after an extended sheltering period. Moreover, they fight chronic homelessness by providing affordable apartments and living facilities for chronically homeless individuals with mental health challenges. In addition, they have dedicated housing programs for homeless or at-risk veterans. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Pine Street Inn has remained committed to providing shelter to unhoused people. For example, in 2022, they supported 2,100 individuals across their housing facilities and operated 5 emergency shelters that housed up to 464 people each night. They also offered 850 permanent housing units and 37 residences where 96% of chronically homeless individuals remained long-term to find employment while improving their education and mental health. Furthermore, they supported 615 residents from their permanent living facilities to find a personal home. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Pine Street Inn on their website. You can also help them by donating goods, starting a fundraiser, or volunteering. In addition, you can join their InnCouncil to raise awareness about homelessness. 

7

Coalition for the Homeless: Every New Yorker Deserves A Home

Logo for Coalition for the Homeless
Right To Shelter - Mike

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Coalition for the Homeless has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We are the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless people. We believe that affordable housing and the chance for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society.”

Coalition for the Homeless

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What they do:

The Coalition for the Homeless runs a Crisis Intervention Program to offer the unsheltered immediate housing and rehabilitation services. In addition, the charity provides permanent housing and supportive services to homeless single adults, as well as mothers and their children. Within these facilities, they help people to improve their budgeting strategy, social skills, and overall health to be able to afford their own home. Furthermore, they offer vocational and educational support for people to advance their careers and social networks. In addition, they have a housing program for homeless people with HIV/AIDS to help manage the physical and emotional difficulties of their illness.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Coalition for the Homeless has continued to provide critical housing services to the homeless. For example, in 2023, their Crisis Intervention Program helped over 7,000 individuals access safe, appropriate shelter and receive legal or mental health services. In the same year, they supported 104 chronically homeless individuals with physical disabilities or mental illness to secure government benefits and obtain supportive housing. Moreover, their housing programs provided long-term shelter to 169 people and improved their health by running regular case management services.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Coalition for the Homeless on their website. You can also contribute by organizing community fundraisers, volunteering, or signing their political petitions.

8

Rosie’s Place: More Than a Shelter – a Second Chance

Logo for Rosie’s Place
At Rosie's Place, we know that second chances can change lives.

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Their transparency & ratings:

Rosie’s Place has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Right from when they arrive, we work to hold in our hearts the image of a strong and dignified woman who can make decisions that help her get where she wants to go.”

Rosie’s Place

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What they do:

Rosie’s Place aids homeless women and their children with emergency support services, including a safe and supportive shelter system. With this, they offer a three-week stay in one of their temporary shelters where they help women plan for their future, start a housing search to find their own home, and support the costs of household items and moving services. Also, in their shelters, they offer essential services like showers, lockers, and clean clothing, as well as basic healthcare in their Wellness Center. Moreover, they provide access to three meals a day and other groceries to help women regain their strength after being on the streets. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Rosie’s Place has continued to provide critical housing to homeless women in need. For example, in 2023, they offered safe, temporary shelter to 177 women where they shared over 100,000 healthy meals. In the same year, their shelters assisted with 2,300 showers and 854 loads of laundry, as well as 3,700 appointments to use private phones or computers. In addition, their healthcare center helped 1,400 women to improve their well-being. Furthermore, they assisted 231 women to find a personal home and placed 16 homeless people in stable, independent housing. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Rosie’s Place on their website. You can also get involved by purchasing particular goods they need or creating a goods-based fundraiser. In addition, you can shop on their online store

9

Harvest Home: Where New Lives Begin 

Logo for Harvest Home
Harvest Home Documentary

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Their transparency & ratings:

Harvest Home has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We transform the lives of homeless pregnant women and their children by providing housing, support, and programs that equip them to become great mothers.”

Harvest Home

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What they do:

Harvest Home runs shelters for homeless pregnant women and their babies to assess their short-term needs and transition them to lasting independence. They do this by providing the education and tools needed to make healthy decisions for their babies, such as childbirth classes, doula support, and infant care lessons. Furthermore, they help the women improve their money management skills and financial stability by providing employment and certification programs as well as budget planning. In addition, they aid women with case management and therapy sessions to help them grow emotionally and mentally. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Harvest Home has equipped and empowered 650 homeless women to become thriving mothers across their shelters. Furthermore, each year, they offer housing and supportive services to 50 mothers and babies while providing continuous support to 75 families after they obtain a stable home. For example, 90% of the pregnant women sheltered by the charity transitioned afterward into a house of their own. Also, 96% of them got a new job or continued their education. Moreover, in 2021, they served 23 mothers and babies with 1,977 nights of safe housing where they provided 410 hours of case management meetings and therapy sessions

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Harvest Home on their website. You can also contribute by donating particular items that they need, volunteering, or joining their team.

10

Welcome Home: Honoring Veterans, Restoring Lives

Logo for Welcome Home
Welcome Home 30 Year Anniversary Documentary

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Their transparency & ratings:

Welcome Home has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We passionately serve those who signed that dotted line to protect our freedoms. We will forever do what it takes to make sure we’re honoring veterans and rebuilding their lives”

Welcome Home

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What they do:

Welcome Home serves homeless veterans and their families through their transitional shelters, to help them improve their health and well-being after living on the streets. In addition, they provide permanent, affordable housing for ex-soldiers who are currently homeless or on the brink of eviction. In these facilities, they offer intensive case management and financial planning while connecting veterans with their military benefits. Moreover, they assist with job trainings and employment opportunities to help veterans regain their independence after staying in their shelters. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Welcome Home has continued to serve veterans struggling with homelessness. For example, their Emergency & Transitional Shelter has expanded its capacity to 32 transitional housing rooms with 34 beds for unhoused veterans and their families. Furthermore, in 2023, they supported 434 veterans and family members through their programs and provided nearly 13,000 shelter nights to ex-warriors in need. In the same year, 93% of the veterans in the permanent housing program obtained a personal home within 36 days of entering the project. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Welcome Home on their website. You can also get involved by starting a fundraising event, joining as a volunteer, or signing up for their newsletter

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities providing shelter for the homeless. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to providing shelter for the homeless—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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