Housing - Shelter For All

Shelter For All

NOTE: This program has been archived and is no longer active as of January 2017.

The University Of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) was awarded funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through its Continuum of Care/Supportive Housing Program.  Since its inception, The Institute for Disability Studies’ Shelter for All (SFA) Program solicits and assists homeless individuals with disabilities by providing supportive services to locate transitional and/or permanent housing and achieve self-sufficiency and self-determination.  Since being awarded funds, SFA, a Supportive Services Only (SSO) Program, has assisted over 3,000 individuals and families with disabilities.

The program’s service area includes 71 counties throughout the State of Mississippi.  Its geographical boundaries are divided into two distinct regions; Northern and Southern Regions.  To cover this broad area, IDS’s main office stationed in Hattiesburg, MS services the Southern Region.  Its Jackson, MS office services the Northern Region.  The Northern Region extends as far as the Tennessee line covering Mississippi Counties therein; exceptions are Madison, Warren, Hinds, Rankin and Copiah Counties.  The Southern Region extends south covering all counties except Pearl River, Stone, George, Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties.


Mr. C

Mr. C was homeless for three years, living in abandoned houses, under a house and in a tent. A case manager found him living in a bamboo thicket. Assisted by the Shelter For All program, Mr. C has gone from being homeless to becoming a home owner.



Who is eligible to participate?

A person must be an individual with a disability or have a family member with a disability residing with them and must be homeless to be eligible for assistance from Shelter For All. Homeless individuals are classified as unsheltered and sheltered.
An unsheltered homeless person resides in

  • a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings (on the street)

A sheltered homeless person resides in

  • an emergency shelter
  • in transitional housing or supportive housing for people who are homeless who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters

Services Provided

Services include but are not limited to

  • case management and person-centered planning for independent living
  • life skills training, including money and household management, nutrition, and parenting
  • job development and supported employment service referrals
  • home buyer education/training and post-purchase counseling
  • individualized rental education/counseling and post-renter counseling
  • individualized financial and credit counseling
  • employability skills training referrals
  • referrals to the community for services and supports
  • identification of transportation through existing providers
  • connections with Medicare, Social Security, and Food Stamp services

Not all homeless people with disabilities and their families will need access to all these services

Person-Centered Plan

Chan Turner, case manager, center, taught this rental education class in JacksonClient-focused, goal oriented, positive meeting that uses the person’s past and present situation to develop a descriptive picture from which to ascertain the individual’s preferences, contributions and relationships as a foundation foe building future goal upon. 


Rental Education

Training services provided to improve knowledge of finding an apartment and becoming a renter to include obstacles to renting, questions to ask the landlord, types of tenancies, rental due dates, tenant rights and responsibilities and landlord rights and responsibilities.


Home Closet

The Home Closet is a project created by the Shelter For All program to fill a gap in services for people with disabilities in Mississippi who are homeless.  People who have become recently homeless and are living on a fixed income are not able to afford basic household items to maintain housing. The Home Closet accepts donations from the public that are in good condition such as furniture, and household items such as sheets, towels, small appliances, dishes, and pots and pans.  The Home Closet’s first priority is to the clients of the Shelter For All program, and then to other projects at the Institute for Disability Studies. The Home Closet has made donations to the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, United Way, and other social services agencies in the local area.

Donations made to the Home Closet are tax deductible. Tax forms are available upon request.

 The Shelter For All service area includes 71 Mississippi counties divided into two distinct regions: northern and southern.  To cover this broad area, IDS’s main office in Hattiesburg serves the southern region, covering all southern counties except Pearl River, Stone, George, Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson. The Jackson office serves the northern region, which extends as far north as the Tennessee line with the exception of Madison, Warren, Hinds, Rankin and Copiah Counties.  

Shelter For All provided the following services from July 2013 - March 2014:

  • Twenty-seven homeless individuals and/or families received housing placements
  • Twenty-three homeless individuals with disabilities were assisted with supported employment or referrals for employment in the community
  • 47 homeless individuals with disabilities were referred for life skills counseling
  • Assisted 102 homeless individuals to access mainstream health and human services
  • 31 individuals with disabilities successfully completed renter education
  • Assessment or information and referral services provided to 166 homeless individuals with disabilities over the last year
  • 46 individuals received budget counseling from a certified housing counselor and 22 received credit counseling
  • 56 homeless individuals with disabilities received follow-along case management services
  • Person-centered planning was provided by HOYO and its coalition members, in collaboration with homeless service providers, to five individuals with a disability
  • Three outreach activities were provided to homeless shelters, regional centers and LIFE centers

For more information, contact: Coordinator for Housing Initiatives
Telephone:  601.266.5163
Toll Free and TTY:  Hattiesburg 1.888.671.0051