CalWORKs Homeless Assistance

Black and white photo of parent and childThe CalWORKs Homeless Assistance (HA) Program was established to help CalWORKs families meet the reasonable costs of securing housing. The CalWORKs HA program serves eligible CalWORKs recipients or apparently eligible CalWORKs applicants, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  CalWORKs HA can provide payments for temporary shelter for up to 16 consecutive calendar days, as well as payments to secure or maintain housing, including a security deposit and last month’s rent, or up to two months of rent arrearages.

As of January 1, 2017, this benefit is available to an eligible client once every 12 months (formerly a once-in-a-lifetime benefit), with exceptions.

Types of Homeless Assistance

  • Temporary HA, which helps families pay the costs of temporary shelter.
    • 16 calendar days of motel vouchers ($85 per day for a family of four or fewer + $15 for each additional family member, up to $145 daily)
  • Permanent HA, which helps families secure housing or prevent eviction.
    • Security deposit and last month's rent or 2 months arrearages to prevent eviction.

Eligibility/For Whom

CalWORKs recipients, or apparently eligible CalWORKs applicants who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. For HA, homelessness is defined in the Welfare and Institutions Code 11450.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Lacking a fixed or regular nighttime residence; and either
      • residing in a shelter; or  
      • residing in a place not designed as a regular sleeping accommodation; or
      • In receipt of a notice to pay rent or quit

How to Apply

The Homeless Assistance program is administered through CalWORKs at the county level. Contact your local county welfare office to apply/learn more.