“Prevention is the foundation of our strategy to reduce homelessness in this city,” says DHS Commissioner Taylor, and our Homebase program is the most extensive and innovative homelessness prevention services network in the country. Before Homebase, many low-income New Yorkers coping with a housing crisis had no choice other than to enter shelter. Now, households on the brink of homelessness have access to an extensive network of neighborhood-based services to help them remain in their communities.
We’ve launched a public awareness campaign following Homebase’s opening of nine additional facilities, bringing the total to 23 offices throughout the five boroughs. The recent expansion was possible because of increased funding in FY2015. Our new citywide print and television campaign targets the 15 communities with residents most likely to enter homeless shelters. Homebase gives families and individuals a customized housing stability plan, utilizing a full array of services including:
- Eviction prevention mediation
- Short-term emergency funding
- Financial counseling and household budgeting
- Assistance in obtaining employment and public benefits (child care, food stamps, tax credits, public health insurance)
The campaign consists of ads on subways, buses, and in check-cashing facilities, as well as a new 30-second TV commercial, which will run through April. The commercial, viewable here, encourages those at risk to “Reach Out Before You’re Forced Out of Your Home.” This outreach is intended to encourage families with children and individuals to access prevention services early on, averting the need for shelter.
Since its inception in September 2004, Homebase has served nearly 65,000 families and individuals. Of the more than 12,000 households served last year, 95 percent were able to remain stably housed in the community and avoided entering shelter.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a housing crisis, you can find your nearest Homebase sites at 311 Online, or you can download the Homebase map (in PDF).
Reach Out Before You're Forced Out of Your Home