Through the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE), New Yorkers can affect the lives of street homeless individuals by participating in this important effort.
Every January, thousands of volunteers across the five boroughs participate in the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). That night, the volunteers canvass streets, parks, and other public spaces to identify individuals living unsheltered.
HOPE is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is a requisite for receiving funding under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. With approximately 1,500 survey areas covered, and the independent addition of decoys as a quality control measure, HOPE remains one of the most comprehensive efforts nationwide to help effectively project service needs and allocate resources for individuals who are experiencing chronic street homelessness.
DHS also employs a comprehensive, year-round outreach program, through which teams engage the street homeless population 24 hours a day, seven days a week, citywide and bring services directly to those in need, as well as alternatives to traditional shelter, such as safe havens and stabilization beds.
New Yorkers can contribute to DHS' outreach efforts by calling 311 or using the 311 app to dispatch a team to the aid of someone living on the streets. Through continued outreach and engagement, DHS has already helped thousands of individuals move from the streets into housing, a victory for the City and the clients we serve.