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Inside DHS

DHS employee attending to a client

Mission Statement

Together with our not-for-profit partners, our mission is to prevent homelessness when possible, address street homelessness, provide safe temporary shelter, and connect New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to suitable housing. We do this with accountability, empathy, and equity.

As an agency comprised of 2,000 employees, with an annual operating budget of over $2 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 helps shelter clients access employment opportunities, 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 

DHS Guide to Services

View DHS's Guide to Services.

View DHS's Interactive Guide to Services.

For additional information about our programs, please call the DSS OneNumber at 718-557-1399 or contact 311.