Homeless youth shelters and transitional independent living shelters need permits from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). OCFS oversees shelters in New York City alongside the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).
New York State recognizes two categories of shelter:
- A crisis shelter serves youth for 30-60 days, and is certified for youth who are either under age 18 or youth ages 16-20.
- A transitional independent living (TIL) shelter serves youth ages 16-20 for up to 18 months.
Youth voluntarily enter and leave runaway homeless youth (RHY) programs. Youth are not placed in shelters by the courts, the NYS Department of Social Services (DSS) or by probation proceedings. Contact DYCD to begin the application process. DYCD will then coordinate with the OCFS to certify and oversee the shelter or program.
Programs must follow new national and state guidelines on food they provide to their clients. Consult the free training materials in "Additional Resources" to learn more.