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Chronic Homelessness

An individual who is homeless does not automatically qualify for this exemption.  Their homelessness must impact their ability to get ready to go to work or keep a job.  You must determine whether the client has the ability to clean their clothes and themselves in order to attend work.  If they do not have access to these things, exempt the client from the ABAWD work requirements. 

​ ​Here are some questions you might ask to determine whether someone is homeless and exempt:
  • Where do you sleep at night?
  • Where did you sleep last night?
  • How long have you stayed there?
  • Are able to wash your clothing?
  • How do you wash your clothing?
  • How frequently are you able to wash your clothing?

  • Are you able to bathe or take a shower?
  • How do you get access to bathing or showering?
  • How frequently are you able to bathe or shower?

Example 1:

Oliver lives in a tent behind his parents' home.  His parents do not allow him to sleep inside their home, but they do wash his clothing and allow him to use the restroom and the shower.  He applies for SNAP benefits.  Should we exempt him from the ABAWD work requirements? 

No.  He has access to laundry and shower facilities.  Oliver is not unfit for employment due to chronic homelessness. 

 Example 2:

Logan stays in a homeless shelter when the weather turns bad, but due to the shelter's rules, he can only stay there for at most seven days.  While at the shelter, he has access to laundry and shower facilities, but he cannot access these facilities if he is not a resident.  He applies for SNAP benefits.  He currently resides at the shelter but will have to leave in two days.  Should we exempt him from the ABAWD work requirements? 

Yes.  He does not have consistent access to laundry, bathing, and showering facilities.  His access is intermittent enough to prevent him from preparing himself for employment.  

 Example 3:

Sophia does not have a permanent residence.  She "couch surfs" between her friends and family. While staying with her friends and family, she uses the washing machine and the bathroom facility. Should we exempt her from the ABAWD work requirements?  

No.  She has access to laundry and bathing facilities.  Sophia is not unfit for employment due to her chronic homelessness.  

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