Turning Away a Client

Clients may be turned away from a shelter because all the available beds are occupied for that night.

There are other reasons why a client could be turned away from a shelter—the client may be difficult to serve, or inadmissible because he or she is intoxicated or using illegal substances.

Why is it important to record this information?

This information helps your shelter to identify how often they are having to turn away clients, and for what reasons. It may point to the need for more beds, or more temporary beds. It could even help to identify a need for various service providers to get together to discuss how to help certain types of difficult clients.


Janine is working the evening shift at the House of Hope when Kelly Chang arrives. Kelly is 77 years old and temporarily without housing. Unfortunately, there are no more beds available for today.

Janine’s Challenge: Janine has to turn away Kelly Chang in HIFIS. Since Kelly has been a client in the past, Janine does not have to create a record for Kelly in HIFIS.

Janine needs to create a Turnaway record for Kelly Chang since she cannot book her in because the shelter is full.

Did you know?
In HIFIS 3.8 there is a new feature in the Turnaway screen which lets you Check Bed Availability Online, provided that your shelter is currently sharing its bed availability. Selecting this button will open an internet browser containing a list of available beds at other shelters that are also sharing their bed availability. This way, you can help your clients by finding them a bed at another shelter. It’s important to remember that there may be shelters in your community who do not or cannot post their bed availability.

Step by Step: Turning Away a client and Checking Bed Availability on line

  1. From the Front Desk Menu choose the Turnaways button
  2. Select the Add New Record button
  3. Choose the Select Client button and select the Client in the Client Search window. Confirm by selecting the blue check mark button
  4. Enter the date and time of the Turnaway, the Service Provider and the Reason for Turnaway
  5. This is an optional step. Your administrator may have deactivated this function. Select the Check Bed Availability Online button. An internet browser window will open with a list of available beds at other shelters.
  6. If desired, tell the client where there are available beds, or contact the Shelter with the available bed and reserve it for the client.
  7. Complete the Referred to field with the name of the shelter.
  8. Click the Save button

Note: If turning away a family or group of people, enter the # of adults and # of children in the appropriate fields.

Below you will find a Show me demonstration and a Let me try simulation. You may wish to try to turn away a client in the simulation, or you can watch the demonstration and then try it yourself.

Learn How
Show me a demonstration of how to turn away a client.

Turning Away a Client

Let me try to turn away a client in HIFIS on my own.

The simulation uses screenshots from the live HIFIS application and creates a realistic environment where you can practice the skills you have learned.

As you move through the simulation, you will be provided with data to enter and feedback on your progress.

If you are unsure how to proceed, the simulation will help you with next steps.

Turning Away a Client Simulation


Turnaways button
Add New Record button
Select Client button
Blue check mark button
Check Bed Availability Online button
Save button
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