What constitutes an adult family?
The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) considers an adult family to be any
family without minor children, including the following household compositions:
- Applicants who are a legally married couple and present a valid original
marriage certificate; or
- Applicants who are a domestic partners couple and present a valid original
domestic partnership certificate; or
- Adults who provide, as part of their application for Temporary Housing Assistance,
proof establishing the medical dependence of one applicant upon another; Two
or more adults who can provide birth certificates to prove a parent/child
or sibling family relationship or share a "caretaking" (emotionally
or physically supportive) relationship, including: (i) aunt/uncle to niece/nephew;
(ii) grandparent to grandchild; (iii) parent to child or step-child; and (iv)
siblings; and can demonstrate that they have resided with one another for
180 days within the year immediately prior to the date of their application.
*Clients must be able to verify that their household constitutes a family as
Where do families with children over 21 apply for shelter?
Adult Family Intake Center (AFIC)
400-430 East 30th Street
New York, NY 10016.
AFIC is open 24 hours per day, including weekends and holidays.
How to Get There:
Subway: Take the 6 train to 28th Street. Walk east to 1st Avenue and turn left,
heading north to 30th Street
Bus: M15 to 29th Street
What if I don’t speak English?
Interpreter assistance will be made available for individuals who do not speak
What do adult families need to bring to AFIC in order to apply for
temporary housing assistance?
Adult families applying for shelter must have valid original identification,
It is also a requirement for each applicant to provide proof of residence
for the last year. As such, it is always useful if clients are able to bring
documents such as eviction papers or marshal's notices, leases, Con Edison
or telephone bills, pay stubs, or proof of income.
- Any form of ID with a picture and proof of age, such as a welfare ID card,
green card, driver's license, passport/visa, or picture employment card.
- Birth certificate,
- Social security card
- Medicaid card
- Identity card in the public assistance system
If working, your most recent pay stub
Please be advised that clients should not bring the following items
- Any contraband, alcohol, or illegal substances (smoking is not allowed in
public buildings within New York City)
- Expensive personal belongings (DHS is not responsible for lost or damaged
- Friends and visitors, or anyone not a part of the applicant family
What is involved with the application process for adult families?
Adult families must apply for shelter in order to ensure that they do not have
an alternative housing option available to them. DHS firmly believes that families
are best served in their communities through prevention efforts and that they
should only utilize temporary emergency shelter as a last resort when they are
experiencing an immediate housing crisis.
Once an adult family arrives at AFIC, they will first be interviewed by a caseworker,
who will inquire about their living situation and explain the services that
may help them avoid shelter altogether-including family mediation, anti-eviction
legal services, out-of-city relocation assistance, Family Eviction Prevention
Supplement (FEPS), or a one-shot deal through the New York City Human Resources
If these services do not apply to a family’s specific circumstances, a DHS
family worker interviews the family to obtain information about their prior
living situation. Families may be assigned a temporary shelter placement for
up to 10 days while DHS investigates the information provided during the interview.
Based on the investigation, DHS determines whether the family is eligible or
ineligible for shelter, based on whether they have fully cooperated with the
application and eligibility process and/or have other housing options available
What if I disagree with the Agency’s eligibility determination?
Every household has a right to a legal conference at AFIC if they are found
ineligible and disagree with the decision. In addition, they have 60 days after
being found ineligible to request a Fair Hearing from New York State.
The Shelter System
What is expected of adult families in shelter?
Once clients enter shelter, they have certain responsibilities that they must
meet, including obtaining and maintaining employment for all those who are able
With the assistance of their caseworkers, households will develop an Independent
Living Plan (ILP), a document that outlines relevant goals to exit shelter and
return to self-sufficiency. Now, more than ever, employment-focused programs
and work supports remain a cornerstone of DHS' efforts to help clients move
back to permanency. Through DHS' policy of Client Responsibility, individuals
and adult families in shelter must actively participate in this process and
take strides toward independent living.
Expectations for Adult Families in Shelter:
Failing to abide by these rules may have serious consequences, including but
not limited to the temporary discontinuance of shelter services. When clients
work closely with shelter staff and follow these and other rules, DHS can
best assist them to transition quickly back to the community.
- Cooperate in carrying out, developing and completing their ILP, which includes
the steps toward obtaining permanent housing
- Applying for Public Assistance (PA) and completing all requirements necessary
for establishing and maintaining eligibility for PA benefits
- If able to work, actively seeking employment and accepting a suitable job
offer when it is offered.
- Working closely with their caseworker or housing specialist to locate and
view available apartments
- Actively seeking permanent housing by viewing available apartments several
times per week
- Accepting a suitable apartment when it is offered
- Following shelter guidelines that prohibit behavior that places other clients
and staff at risk