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About DHS
About DHS

The mission of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is to prevent homelessness when possible and to provide short-term, emergency shelter for individuals and families who have no other housing options available.

As an agency comprised of 2,000 employees, with an annual operating budget of approximately $1 billion, DHS is one of the largest organizations of its kind committed to preventing and addressing homelessness in New York City. As it engages in this mission, DHS employs a variety of innovative strategies to help families and individuals successfully exit shelter and return to self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.

Collaborating with other public agencies and nonprofit partners, DHS works to prevent homelessness before it occurs, reduce street homelessness, and assist New Yorkers in transitioning from shelter into permanent housing. Furthermore, DHS remains committed to meeting its legal mandate to provide temporary emergency shelter to those experiencing homelessness in a safe and respectful environment.

DHS requires shelter clients to gain employment, connect to work supports and other public benefits, save their income, and search for housing, to better prepare for independent living.


Critical Objectives

Employment-focused programs and prevention services are the cornerstones of our work at DHS. Through this approach, we focus on the following critical objectives:

  • To increase the number of households prevented from becoming homeless
  • To reduce the number of individuals living on city streets
  • To ensure the availability of temporary, emergency shelter for individuals and families with no other housing options available to them
  • To increase client engagement and responsibility in moving to permanent housing
  • To maintain shelter safety and sanitation
  • To reduce clients' length of stay in shelter
  • To ensure that those who exit shelter remain stably housed in the community