Transitional housing refers to a supportive – yet temporary – type of accommodation that is meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, supervision, support (for addictions and mental health, for instance), life skills, and in some cases, education and training.
“Transitional housing is conceptualized as an intermediate step between emergency crisis shelter and permanent housing. It is more long-term, service-intensive and private than emergency shelters, yet remains time-limited to stays of three months to three years. It is meant to provide a safe, supportive environment where residents can overcome trauma, begin to address the issues that led to homelessness or kept them homeless, and begin to rebuild their support network.”
Historically, transitional housing programs were situated within dedicated, building-specific environments, where there was more common space and less private space than might be the case in permanent housing environments. However, as the concept of transitional housing has evolved, new approaches that incorporate scattered-site housing are now being adopted. In such cases, some of the transitional ‘supports’ are considered portable.
Definition provided by Canadian Observatory on Homelessness