Talking About Homelessness

Talking about homelessness, an essential first step in working towards solutions, is basically talking about people who “lack regular access to safe, adequate, stable housing.” 

Homelessness Definitions

Portland State University (PSU) - Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative:
“Lacking regular access to safe, adequate, stable housing”

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
Definition can be summarized as a person “who lacks housing” according to section 330(h)(5)(A) of the Public Health Service Act.

Oregon Department of Education (ODE):
Homeless students under the ODE definition are those who lack a “fixed, regular, or adequate nighttime residence.”

Key Terms and Acronyms

Oregon Statewide Shelter Study, 2019, Appendix A

Talking About Homelessness

“Why We Don’t Use the Terms “the Homeless” or “Homeless People” 

Why Should I Use “Person Who is Homeless” vs. “Homeless Person”? It is about being “empathetically correct:” humanizing people who are often forgotten, objectified, and stigmatized by society.