Founded in 1986 as a public-private partnership between City government, private business and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Homes for the Homeless (HFH) was formed with the mission to appreciably address the issue of family homelessness in New York City.
Established as an efficient and comprehensive approach for assisting families in shelter, the American Family Inn model combines social services with a full range of programs designed to meet the specific needs of homeless children and their parents. As such, each inn provides access to services such as classrooms, libraries, computer labs, health clinics, playgrounds and counseling centers- enabling families to learn and grow as they transition to permanent housing.
Priding itself on promoting the importance of education, HFH offers after-school and early education programming that is funded by a variety of City agencies; with more than 100 early childhood education/ daycare slots, and nearly 125 school-aged children receiving homework help each weeknight, HFH facilities strive to empower youngsters and help them achieve academic success. By offering these powerful educational programs to both children in shelter and in the surrounding community, HFH strives to further expand the scope of its influence in positive ways. Similarly, parents in HFH shelters are encouraged to keep their children enrolled in these programs even after making the move to permanent housing, thereby helping families to preserve established networks of support.
Building on the belief that it takes more than just housing to end homelessness, HFH continues to create and maintain programs that nourish and encourage children to develop and thrive. In 1989, the organization launched its Homeless Summer Camps in Harriman State Park, providing unique and memorable experiences for about 500 homeless, foster care and low-income children in all five boroughs of New York City.
HFH is additionally piloting Family Works, a training and internship program to assist the adult members of the families with job readiness, financial literacy, and internships/ job placement to better their prospects in remaining stably housed once they leave the inns.
On a daily basis, non-profit providers like HFH aid DHS in carrying out its mission to prevent, address, and overcome homelessness in New York City. Thanks to the outstanding work of these partners, more families can return to permanency in the community.