Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Emergency shelters are places for people to live temporarily when they can't live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as battered women, victims of domestic violence in general, or victims of sexual abuse. A more minor difference is that people staying in emergency shelters are more likely to stay all day, except for work, school, or errands, while homeless shelters usually expect people to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep, or sometimes, to eat, if the shelter also provides meals.
Temporary emergency shelters are often set up by non-profit organizations like the Red Cross and Red Crescent, or governmental emergency management deptartments, in response to natural disasters, such as a flood or earthquake, or in response to terrorist attacks in which civilians are evacuated. They tend to use tents or other temporary structures, or are in buildings usually used for another purpose, such as a church or school. Temporary tent cities with shelters may also include mass decontamination facilities to cleanse large numbers of evacuees prior to assigning them to shelters, or to them being held in isolation or quarantine.
Both types often provide counselors; long-term shelters providing specialists in the area affecting their clients, while temporary ones are more likely to provide general grief counseling . They sometimes facilitate support groups, and/or provide meals, as well as means for people to leave messages for one another. Ones that don't provide any of these services can usually refer their clients to organizations that do.
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