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How to File a Complaint Against a Homeless Shelter in 2023

It really would be dependent on the organization that runs the shelter. If the organization is run by a religious community, for instance, you might direct your grievance to the church authorities. If the shelter is run by the Salvation Army, you can ask the local branch how to do it and where you should resolve your problem.

You may have no grounds for complaint if the shelter is private, like a nonprofit charity. “Unfair” has no legal definition. It is inconsequential whether their actions have been “fair” unless your constitutional protections were truncated, which is pretty doubtful.

The shelter has always been their property, not yours, and you’re entitled to no privileges other than the freedom to leave. If that were a government shelter, there would be much more restrictions because the government is required to provide procedural fairness, whereas private entities really aren’t.

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Lastly, if a private shelter obtains government funds, it may be expected to address many of the same procedural fairness requirements as a government shelter.

Steps to File a Complaint Against a Homeless Shelter

To be acknowledged, your complaint must be submitted in writing via mail, fax, and email to the Homeless Advocacy Group in your area or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It must include the title of the shelter or social service provider implicated, as well as a description of the actions or neglect that you believe infringed your civil rights statutes or guidelines. You should file your complaint within 180 days of learning of the alleged act or omission.

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If you really can demonstrate “good cause,” Homeless Advocacy Group might very well broaden the 180-day period. Here are ways you can file a complaint against a homeless shelter.

  1. Online

Go to the Homeless Advocacy Group or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Complaint Portal and choose the category of complaint you want to file.

Fill in enough details as you can, including:

  • Details regarding you, the complainant
  • Specifics of the complaint
  • Whatever extra details that could assist the Homeless Advocacy Group in evaluating your complaint are welcome.
  • You must then digitally sign the complaint as well as fill out the consent form. After you have completed the consent form, you will then print a copy for your personal records.
  1. Putting Pen to Paper

For real-time processing, it is highly recommended you file complaints online through the complaint portal instead of via mail.

  1. Making Use of a Complaint Form Package

In PDF format, access and fill out the Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form Package. To fill out the complaint and consent forms, you would need Adobe Reader software. Submitted complaints and consent forms must be emailed to their official email address.

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(Please keep in mind that communication via unencrypted email carries the risk of personally identifiable information being captured by unauthorized persons.)

  1. In the absence of the Complaint Form Package

If you would like, you can send a written complaint in a personalized format to the email address of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Homeless Advocacy Group in your area. Also, include the following:

  • Your given name.
  • Complete address.
  • Mobile numbers (include area code).
  • The email address (if available)
  • Name, complete address, as well as the phone number of the individual, agency, or association you presume treated unfairly against you
  • A summary of what occurred, along with how, why, and when you think your (or someone else’s) civil rights have been infringed.
  • Whatever additional appropriate details
  • Your signature as well as the complaint date
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If you’re making the complaint on behalf of someone else, please include their name. If you filed your complaint somewhere else, ensure to state where. If you mail a complaint, particularly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ensure to address it to:

Centralized Case Management Operations

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Room 509F HHH Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20201