Begin Main Content Area

Emergency Shelter Allowance (ESA)

The Department of Human Services offers an Emergency Shelter Allowance, ESA, to help a homeless or near homeless family/individual to: 

    • Stop eviction from your home/apartment or foreclosure of your house
    • Find a long-term place to live
    • Find a short-term place to stay

The purpose of an ESA is to stop your housing crisis — rather than slow down the process. For this reason, the county assistance office (CAO), will require:

    • Proof of your emergency and the amount needed to stop the emergency
    • Proof that an ESA will solve your housing crisis

To be eligible for an ESA, you also must meet all income, resource, and non-financial guidelines. The ESA payment amount, up to $400, depends on your needs, situation, and emergency. Details regarding ESA eligibility may be found in Section 138.9 of the Cash Assistance Handbook.

How to Apply

Contact your CAO and ask what you need to do to apply for an Emergency Shelter Allowance. If you are not receiving any benefits now, you must fill out an Application for Benefits.

If you need help to fill out the application or want more information about benefits, a trained CAO staff member can help you.