Emergency shelters are places for people to live temporarily when they can't live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as battered women, victims of domestic violence in general, or victims of sexual abuse. A more minor difference is that people staying in emergency shelters are more likely to stay all day, except for work, school, or errands, while homeless shelters usually expect people to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep or eat. Emergency shelters sometimes facilitate support groups, and/or provide meals. More comprehensive support may also include facilities such as mental health counselling.
Post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by organisations like the Red Cross and Red Crescent, UNHCR or governmental emergency management departments, in response to natural disasters, such as a flood or earthquake. They tend to use tents or other temporary structures, or buildings normally used for another purpose, such as a church or school. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and should be thought of more as settlements than shelter, and need to be planned with respect to water / sanitation, livelihoods.
- Najidah Australian based charity advocating holistic responses to homelessness
- Shelter UK based charity advocating decent housing provision
- Shelter Centre NGO supporting the emergency shelter sector
- Emergency Shelter Records New-York Historical Society
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