What is the official definition of homelessness?

There is more than one “official” definition of homelessness. Health centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) use the following:

A homeless individual is defined in section 330(h)(5)(A) as “an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whether the individual is a member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation. [Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C., 254b)]

An individual may be considered to be homeless if that person is “doubled up,” a term that refers to a situation where individuals are unable to maintain their housing situation and are forced to stay with a series of friends and/or extended family members. In addition, previously homeless individuals who are to be released from a prison or a hospital may be considered homeless if they do not have a stable housing situation to which they can return. A recognition of the instability of an individual’s living arrangements is critical to the definition of homelessness. (HRSA/Bureau of Primary Health Care, Program Assistance Letter 99-12, Health Care for the Homeless Principles of Practice)

Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) use a different, more limited definition of homelessness [found in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-22, Section 1003)].

  • An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
  • An individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground;
  • An individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including hotels and motels paid for by Federal, State or local government programs for low-income individuals or by charitable organizations, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);
  • An individual who resided in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation and who is exiting an institution where he or she temporarily resided;
  • An individual or family who will imminently lose their housing [as evidenced by a court order resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family that they must leave within 14 days, having a primary nighttime residence that is a room in a hotel or motel and where they lack the resources necessary to reside there for more than 14 days, or credible evidence indicating that the owner or renter of the housing will not allow the individual or family to stay for more than 14 days, and any oral statement from an individual or family seeking homeless assistance that is found to be credible shall be considered credible evidence for purposes of this clause]; has no subsequent residence identified; and lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing; and
  • Unaccompanied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as homeless under other Federal statutes who have experienced a long-term period without living independently in permanent housing, have experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.

Sumner County Homelessness Resources

Medical Needs

Sumner County Health Department

Local Resources
Company Address Phone Office Hours
Gallatin Clinic 1005 Union School Rd. Gallatin, TN 37066 (615) 206-1100 M-F 8am-4:30pm
Hendersonville Clinic 351 New Shackle Rd. Hendersonville, TN (615) 824-0552 M-F 8am-4:30pm


  • Immunizations
  • Child Health
  • Women's Care
  • Sick Care
  • WIC
  • Health Education
  • Family Planning
  • STD Testing/Treatment
  • Vital Records

* Services are offered free of charge or with TennCare insurance.

Salvus Center Inc. Partners in Health

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Gallatin Salvus Center 556 Hartsville Pk, Suite 200 Gallatin, TN 37066
(615) 451-0038 M-F 8am-3pm
HOPE-Salvus Dental Clinic 1005 Union School Rd. Gallatin, TN 37066 (615) 644-4746 M-F 8am-3pm

* Services are for those who do not have insurance. Fees are based on a sliding scale and must be paid at your appointment.

Mental Health Needs

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Babb Center 105 Music Village Blvd Hendersonville TN 37075 (615) 824-3772 M-F 8am-8pm
Mental Health Cooperative 1078 S. Water Ave Gallatin, TN 37066 (615) 230-9663 M-F 8am-4:30pm
Matters of the Heart 129 Haven St, Suite A, Hendersonville TN 37075 (615) 557-5500 Vary
Purposed Life 312 N. Durham, Gallatin TN 37066 (615) 200-3007 Vary
New Beginnings 107 Imperial Blvd Suite 13, Hendersonville TN 37075 (615) 618-5029 Vary



Mobile Crisis Services

* If a student is having thoughts of suicide, please have them call 911 or contact Mobile Crisis Services 1-855-274-7471, or 1-800-784-2433.


  • Telephone Services provided by trained crisis specialists
  • Face-to-face or Telehealth Assessment
  • Referral for additional services & treatment
  • Stabilization of Symptoms
  • Follow-up services

Crisis Text Hotline

Text HELLO to 741741

Free, 24/7, Confidential

Drugs/ Alcohol Use or Abuse

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Cumberland Heights 8283 River Road Pike, Nashville, TN 37029 (615) 356-2700 24/7 Services


Domestic Violence/ Sexual Assault

Home Safe (Robertson, Sumner, Wilson Counties)

Domestic Violence Helpline: (615) 452-4315
Sexual Assault Helpline: (615) 454-0373
Español: (615) 969-3260
To Join a Support Group (615) 452-5439


  • Emergency Shelter
  • Court & Law
  • Case Management
  • Counseling
  • Child / Youth Services
  • Support Groups
  • Help with Order of Protection
  • Domestic Violence Education

* Resources are free of charge.

Pregnancy Resources

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Planned Parenthood 412 Dr. Db Todd Jr. Blvd. Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 321-7216 8:15am-4:30pm


  • Abortion Services
  • HIV Testing
  • Men's Health Care
  • STD Testing
  • Birth Control
  • HIV Testing
  • Emergency Contraceptive
  • STD Treatment / Vaccines
  • General Health Care
  • LGBT Services
  • Pregnancy Services
  • Women's Health Care

*Affordable payment options for those who are uninsured. Accept many insurance plans. Payment is accepted at the time of service.

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center 2229 Nashville Pike. Gallatin, TN 37066 (615) 451-1717 / 1-800-712-4357 10am-5pm


  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Abortion Education
  • Parenting Education  
  • Adoption Education
  • Adoption Referrals
  • STD/ STI Information
  • Men’s Programs
  • Pre-Natal classes
  • Mentoring Program
  • Baby Supplies
  • Maternity Clothing

Family Support

Company Address Phone website
Tennessee Voices for Children 500 Professional Park Drive, Goodlettsville, TN 3072 (615) 269-7751 www.tnvoices.org


Financial Needs

Society of St. Vincent De Paul

(615) 452-2977, ext. 11


  • Emergency Assistance
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Prescription Medication
  • Furniture
  • Household Items
  • Utilities
  • Rent Money                                                 

*Must meet qualifications. Will refer to other resources also.

Gallatin Cares

330 Durham N. Ave

Gallatin, TN 37066

(615) 452-5732


Clothing, household goods, and furniture at discounted prices                             

Food Pantry- every Wednesday 9-11am

Unlimited Potential, CDC

260 East Winchester P.O. Box 1294

Gallatin, TN 37066


  • Youth Education
  • Senior/ Elderly Services
  • Housing
  • Shelter
  • Human Services
  • Sports Programs
  • Food Programs

*Must meet income guidelines.


Mid Cumberland Community Action Agency

*Energy Assistance Program, Head Start/ Early Start, Case Management, TN ReConnect services.

Sumner County

600 Small St, Suite 133

Gallatin, TN 37066

(615) 452-7570

Upper Cumberland Homelessness Resources

Emergency Shelter

Company Phone
Homeless Advocacy for Rural Tennessee (HART) (931) 484-7020
Steven’s Street Care Center (931) 550-4881


Mental Health Needs

Company Phone
24- Hour Crisis Text Line Text HELLO to 741741
National Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Volunteer Behavioral Health 1-800-704-8651
Centerstone (931) 303-0665
Mental Health Co-Op (931) 646-5600


Medical Needs

Company Phone
Health Department (931) 528-2531
Rescue Mission (931) 528-5819


Food / Basic Needs

Company Phone
Rescue Mission (931) 528-5819
UCHRA (931) 528-1285
Department of Human Services (931) 528-7487


Livingston Homelessness Resources

Medical Needs

County and Regional offices of the Tennessee Department of Health provides services to include immunizations, primary care, child health care, women’s care, family planning, health education, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), STD control, prenatal and vital records.

Company Address Phone
Clay County Health Department 115 Guffey Street Celina, TN 38551 931-243-2651
Jackson County Health Dept. 600 North Murray Street Gainesboro, TN 38562 931-268-0218
Overton County Health Dept. 5880 Bradford-Hicks Drive Livingston, TN 38570 931-823-6260
Pickett County Health Dept. 1013 Woodlawn Drive Byrdstown, TN 38549 931-864-3178
Upper Cumberland Regional Office 1100 England Drive Cookeville, TN 38501 931-528-7531

* Fast Pace Urgent Care Clinics can provide services on a walk-in basis including treatment, prevention and wellness. Most offices are open 7 days a week and have evening hours

Company Address Contact
Livingston 817 West Main St, Livingston, TN 38570 931-219-2091
Algood 562 W. Main St, Cookeville, TN 38506 algood@fastpacemedical.com 


Mental Health Needs

Company Address Phone Office Hours
Volunteer Behavioral Health Care Systems 1200 South Willow Avenue, Cookeville, TN  1-877-567-6051 8am-4:30pm


  • Crisis Services
  • Urgent Outpatient Appointments
  • Medication Management
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Respite Services
  • Referrals to crisis stabilizations

* Crisis services: 1-800-704-2651

Company Address Phone
Mental Health Cooperative 418 N. Willow Avenue, Cookeville, TN 38501 931-646-5600

* Serves Clay, Jackson, Overton & Pickett Counties. Works with TennCare Plans and no insurance.


Domestic Violence

Company Phone
Upper Cumberland Justice Center

1-800-707-5197 (24 Hour Crisis Line)



Pregnancy Resources

Company Phone
Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic 1-800-854-1165

Accept appointments & walk-ins.


  • Pregnancy tests
  • Ultrasounds
  • Peer counseling

Misc. Resources

Upper Cumberland Resource Agency

Provides a variety of community block grant programs that offer assistance in rent and utilities and they also manage the UCARTS transportation system.

(931) 528-1127

Clay Co. 931-243-3674

Jackson Co. 931-268-9840

Overton Co. 931-823-7323

Pickett Co. 931-864-6540

Youth CAN

Youth CAN assists ages 16-24 with various resources and support services that may include financial assistance with books, materials and daycare supplementation.

Women at the Well

Provides free food boxes on the 4th Thursday of every month.

Located at: Joe L. Evins Community Center
480 W. Broad St.
(931) 319-1310