Frequently Asked Questions


Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

What makes Talbot House Ministries different from other local providers?

Answer: Talbot House Ministries provides free emergency shelter to adult men and women experiencing homelessness. It has the most beds (84) and the most comprehensive array of services under one roof, including its free Clinic. While it is a faith-based organization, Talbot House Ministries does not require religious participation or discriminate against clients on the basis of any protected class. Talbot House works closely with other local providers to maximize client success and meet the needs for which we are unequipped at this time.

Does Talbot House have a thrift store?

Talbot House does not have a thrift store or sell any donated items. Instead, we work collaboratively with a network of nonprofit providers to redistribute goods we are unable to use.

What donations can/can’t Talbot House accept?

Talbot House accepts donations of food, clothing, hygiene items, bedding, cleaning supplies, and prescription medications. We are currently unable to accept donations of furniture or electronics. You can visit here for details about some of our most urgent in-kind needs.

Does Talbot House accept court-mandated community service hours?

Unfortunately, Talbot House is unable to accommodate court-mandated community service hours at this time. For more information about our volunteer program, please click here.

What services are free? What services are not?

All basic needs services – food, shelter, and medical care – are available free of charge to eligible clients. Clients with income participating in a residential program are welcome to learn more here

What is Housing First?

The Housing First model, an evidence-based approach espoused by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (among others) approaches homelessness as a problem with a solution; that solution is housing. At Talbot House, we believe that all people deserve access to affordable, safe, sustainable housing regardless of their history, socioeconomic status, or other factors.


The Housing First approach is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach. It values flexibility, individualized support, client choice, and autonomy. Supportive services like mental health care, addiction treatment, and case management assistance are part of the Housing First model. However, clients are not required to participate in services in order to receive or retain housing.


Basically, Housing First does not assume that clients need to be “made ready” for housing by meeting certain expectations. Instead, housing is offered immediately to end their homelessness; from there, stabilization and supportive services help individuals grow to meet their personal and professional goals. Talbot House is working to grow its Housing First programs such as outreach and diversion to more thoroughly embrace these values.

How do I get information about Talbot House affordable housing?

At this time, Talbot House’s housing department has limited short-term funding for individuals referred to us by the Homeless Coalition of Polk County. Visit their website or call 863.687.8386 for more information.

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