Can You Qualify for Texas Food Stamps If You Are Living At a Homeless Shelter?

texas food stamp homeless shelters

Can You Qualify for Texas Food Stamps If You Are Living At a Homeless Shelter?

In this community resource guide, you will learn if you can qualify for SNAP benefits in Texas while living at a homeless shelter. 

If you’re experiencing homelessness and living in a homeless shelter, you may wonder if you’re eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Texas.

In this article, we’ll discuss the SNAP program and how it can help individuals like you who are staying in homeless shelters. We’ll cover the eligibility criteria, application process, and additional resources available for homeless individuals.

Eligibility for SNAP in Homeless Shelters

Approved Institutions

First, let’s talk about the types of homeless shelters that can affect your SNAP eligibility. A homeless shelter must be an approved institution for its residents to qualify for SNAP benefits. An approved institution is:

  1. A public or private nonprofit shelter for the homeless, or
  2. A certified SNAP retailer.

Verification of Approved Homeless Shelter Status

If you’re unsure whether your shelter is an approved institution, you can verify its status by contacting your local SNAP office or asking shelter staff.

Non-Approved Institutions

If you’re staying in a homeless shelter that isn’t an approved institution, you may still qualify for SNAP benefits if the facility provides half or less of your meals. This factor is crucial to consider when determining if you’re institutionalized.

Can I Get Texas SNAP Benefits If I Live In A Homeless Shelter? 

Yes, you can qualify for Texas food stamps if you live in a homeless shelter. Your eligibility depends on the shelter’s status as an approved institution, which includes public or private nonprofit shelters for the homeless and certified SNAP retailers.

If you stay in a non-approved institution, you may still qualify if the facility provides half or less of your meals. Regardless of the shelter’s status, you must meet the same household composition, income, and resource standards as other households to be eligible for SNAP benefits.

SNAP Application Process for Homeless Shelter Residents

When applying for SNAP benefits, you must meet the same requirements as other households, regardless of your homeless status.

Household Composition Requirements

SNAP considers all individuals who live and eat together as a household. Be sure to include everyone in your living situation when applying for benefits.

Income and Resource Standards

SNAP requires that applicants meet specific income and resource standards. When applying for benefits, you’ll need to provide information on your income, expenses, and assets.

Payment Considerations for Shelter Expenses

If you’re paying for your room in the shelter, those payments count as shelter expenses when determining your SNAP benefit amount. Make sure to include this information in your application.

Additional Resources for Homeless Individuals

Aside from SNAP benefits, there are other resources available to you as a homeless individual. Some of these resources include:

  • Local food banks and soup kitchens that provide free meals
  • Nonprofit organizations offering support services, such as job training or assistance with finding housing

If you need more food assistance resources, call your local United Way helpline at 211 to learn more about food pantries and other supportive services you may qualify for. 


If you’re living in a homeless shelter, your eligibility for SNAP benefits in Texas depends on the shelter’s status as an approved institution and your specific circumstances. 

For questions about Texas food stamp qualifications, you can the Texas Health and Human Service Commission. This is the state agency that manages the SNAP program. You can call them at 877.541.7905 or visit the Your Texas Benefits website to apply online. 

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