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General Assistance Handbook 90-02.00 :. Community Housing and Shelter Services (CHASS) Program

Effective Date:     July 10, 1995

Revision Date:      August 14, 2014

Published Date:       April 17, 1996


This handbook is being revised to inform Workforce and Benefits Administration (WBA) staff of changes to the Community Housing and Shelter Services (CHASS) Program.


The Community Housing and Shelter Services (CHASS) Program shall provide in-kind shelter (housing and utilities) and food to homeless applicants and recipients for General Assistance (GA) through the CHASS program or through a referral to a shelter.

Social Workers (SW's) in WBA receive referrals for the CHASS Program from Employment Counselors (EC's), Eligibility Technicians (ET's), and clerical staff, via Form 50-160 Referral for Help with Supportive Services. GA applicants/recipients can also inform SW's that they are homeless during the SW group meeting. SW's conduct a screening for CHASS eligibility, then offer a shelter bed to those who qualify.

Applicants/recipients who are offered a CHASS voucher are asked to sign Form 90-156 "General Assistance Application for Homeless Assistance", and to indicate whether they accept or decline the voucher. Effective August 1, 2014, those applicants/recipients who accept or decline the CHASS voucher will be eligible to receive the maximum GA grant (currently $336.00). In addition, GA recipients may now receive a CHASS voucher at anytime during the month, even if they have already received their full GA grant for the month.

II. Process:

Eligibility Support Clerk

The Eligibility Support Clerk (ESC) will:

  1. Give each GA applicant/recipient who declares they are homeless, the "General Assistance Application for Homeless Assistance" (Form 90-156), to complete along with the Intake packet.
  2. Clear potential applicants/recipients who request CHASS or Other Shelter Services in CalWIN to determine current case status.
  3. Refer applicant/recipient to the SW group. Attach a copy of the Referral for Help with Supportive Services form 50-160 to the 90-156.
  4. Forward the application packet to SW.

Social Worker

The Social Worker (SW) will:

  1. Receive 50-160 and 90-156 from ESC or applicant/recipient.
    Note: Applicant/recipient may not inform the ESC of his/her housing situation and may inform SW directly. When this occurs, the SW will give Form 90-156 to applicant/recipient for completion.
  2. Receive daily e-mail (in the morning) from Clerical staff regarding shelter bed availability.
  3. Review documentation and interview applicant/participant to determine if CHASS eligible
  4. If CHASS eligible, locate an appropriate, available shelter for applicant/recipient.
  5. Explain in detail, the CHASS program and referral process, and obtain applicant/recipient signature on CHASS Participation Requirements and Regulations form 90-136.
  6. Issue CHASS Emergency Shelter Voucher Form # 90-120 to applicant/recipient for a period of 30 days at a time. If an extension beyond 30 days is needed, the CHASS shelter shall contact the SW for approval.
  7. Verify clients' time on aid before issuing extensions. If the client is in their last month of time limited aid do not issue extension, and notify shelter provider.
  8. Contact CHASS shelter to verify bed availability.
  9. Issue bus tickets if needed, and direct client to shelter.
  10. If applicant/recipient is not CHASS eligible the SW will give him/her a list of Non-CHASS shelters where they may attempt to be admitted.
  11. Complete and send GA Case Information Update Request Request - SW 90-14 and attach copy of CHASS Emergency Shelter Voucher # 90-120 and forward to ET of record, so appropriate action can be taken on case.
  12. Give copy of CHASS voucher to designated Clerical staff in each office, no later than 4:00pm daily.
  13. Enter Case Comments in CalWIN.

Clerical Staff

The Clerical Staff will:

  1. Receive e-mail or phone call from each participating CHASS shelter each morning, to confirm shelter bed availability.
  2. Send e-mail to all SW's in the Social Services Agency of available beds in all CHASS shelters, daily.
  3. Receive e-mail or phone call from each participating CHASS shelter when applicant/recipient reports to shelter, does not report to shelter, or leaves shelter.
  4. Receive a copy of all CHASS vouchers issued from SW no later than 4:00pm daily.
  5. Record the following information in the CHASS database, daily; office location, case number, client name, Social Security Number, date of birth, sex, date voucher was requested, whether client accepted or declined CHASS voucher, is deemed inappropriate for CHASS, if no CHASS bed available, CHASS voucher number, number of days approved for CHASS, the name of the shelter where client was referred to, and whether client reports or does not report to shelter.

Eligibility Technician

The ET will:

  1. Refer homeless applicants/recipients to SW via Referral for Help with Supportive Services form 50-160.
  2. Receive Form 90-14 GA Case Information Update Request - from the SW.
  3. Enter case comments in CalWIN.

Note: Staff are reminded to still enter all CHASS Information on the "Collect Individual Attributes" screen (Living Arrangements) tab, in CalWIN to ensure accurate reporting.


General Assistance Regulations 9-2-0;
General Assistance Newsletter 14-02

Lori Cox, Director
Social Services Agency

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