Governed by a unique right to shelter mandate, New York City provides temporary emergency shelter to every man, woman, and child who is eligible for services, every night. This policy sets New York apart from municipalities across the nation−many of which turn homeless individuals and families away once shelters have filled up or simply put their names on a waiting list.
In order to meet its legal obligations, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) maintains an open-ended Request for Proposal (RFP) process, through which nonprofit social services providers submit proposals to open shelters in neighborhoods throughout New York City, as needed to meet demand. Once a shelter proposal has been approved, DHS works with local Community Boards and offices of local elected officials to maintain regular and ongoing dialogue, and to address any community issues and concerns. At the same time, we ask New Yorkers to accept those who are sheltered in their community as neighbors — individuals and families in crisis who need the City’s assistance in overcoming a housing emergency.
New York City’s shelter system is consistently recognized as the most sophisticated and comprehensive in the nation. The City is also an innovative leader in the field of preventive services for those who are at risk of becoming homeless. All New Yorkers should be proud to live in a city that focuses intently on prevention efforts at the forefront of its policies, while providing shelter as a safety net for those in need.
Learn about temporary emergency shelter for the following populations of clients: