Traditionally, SHP project sponsors have focused on the homeless populations facing the most difficult barriers to self sufficiency - chronic mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities, substance abuse and domestic violence issues. This funding is focused on providing these individuals with permanent or transitional housing along with the needed supportive services to help move into the most mainstream housing available to them. A second aspect of the SHP program is the Shelter plus Care program (S+C), which is designed to provide housing options for homeless individuals with disabilities.
All SHP projects are part of the Continuum of Care, a linkage of services and providers designed to provide a set of services that moves individuals from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Each year, HUD releases a notice of funding availability (the super NOFA) and applications are submitted to the City. A committee of service providers, housing specialists and advocates for the homeless then review these proposals. Those applications selected by the committee are put together to create the application submitted by the City to HUD for the Continuum of Care. HUD in turn reviews the submissions and determines funding levels and any possible cuts from the City's application. HUD places a premium on projects that contain a permanent housing element in their service plan.