The Journey Home

Action Plan to End Long-Term Street Homelessness

A NYC Homeless Outreach personal helping someone out

Since April 2016, our outreach teams have helped more than 2,450 New Yorkers remain off the street. While our strategies are making progress and headed in the right direction, with each person helped off the streets representing an individual victory, we know we cannot rest. Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. And we will not leave any New Yorker behind. We know that ending long-term street homelessness is in our power. It is our mission and responsibility. We have the tools to make a difference and there’s no time left to wait.

That is why we are announcing our plan to cut street homelessness in half by ending long-term street homelessness in New York City within the next five years.

Read the Journey Home Street Homelessness Action Plan

How You Can Help

All New Yorkers

People who are living on the street are our neighbors: it is our collective responsibility to treat them with dignity and learn how we might support them.

  • If you see someone who you believe to be experiencing unsheltered homelessness, report it to 311 and request outreach assistance.
  • Get to know those people you see regularly: express empathy and demonstrate compassion.
  • Family and friends can play crucial roles in helping someone come off the streets. Family and friends of New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness are now able to submit reports for those relatives and friends through 311, and those reports will be routed directly to the Street Homeless Joint Command Center for triage and coordinated action.
  • Help reduce stigma around homelessness: learn about homelessness and the City’s ongoing efforts to help New Yorkers move inside and into permanent housing. If you hear negative stereotypes about people experiencing homelessness, speak up with facts and compassion.
  • Faith leaders are strong messengers to engage communities about the importance of supporting our homeless neighbors. We encourage congregational conversations and engagement around this issue and the City is reaching out to faith leaders for volunteers to engage in this plan.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, please visit https://www.nycservice.org/search/#s and search by interest using the category “Homelessness and Housing.”
  • Sign up at nyc.gov/HOPE for the HOPE Survey, our annual point-in-time survey of New Yorkers sleeping unsheltered on the streets, which provides HOME-STAT outreach teams with valuable information they use in their year-round efforts to ensure they are meeting New Yorkers’ needs.

Faith, Community, and Business Leaders

In order to open 1000 new transitional Safe Haven beds and 1000 new low-barrier permanent housing units, we need help from every community to identify locations where we can site these crucial services. Faith and community leaders, businesses, philanthropy, and the provider community can all be of great help.

  • Help us identify, acquire, and open new Safe Haven locations that not-for-profit social service providers can propose to operate. If you would like to recommend a location, please do so online at nyc.gov/dhs/suggestions.
  • DHS works closely with faith communities to support people experiencing homelessness. We welcome partnerships to identify buildings appropriate for Safe Haven or low-barrier beds, or to discuss other opportunities for collaboration and community service.

Shelter remains the most appropriate next setting for many people who are experiencing homelessness, as close as possible to the anchors of their daily life, close to schools, employment, health care, or houses of worship. These are exactly the kinds of social supports and connections to community that can help families and individuals stabilize their lives after losing their homes, which can in turn help them move out of shelter more quickly. Please join us at the table to support our shelter-siting process to provide feedback and support our homeless neighbors.

DHS welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the business community and tech sector to serve the needs of homeless clients, whether through partnerships or in-kind donations. To discuss such opportunities, please submit an inquiry at nyc.gov/dhs/suggestions or email us at intergov@dss.nyc.gov.

And we welcome other ideas from every community!