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Homeless In New York City

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I Just Became Homeless In New York City

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS

The New York City Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) guiding principle states that all homeless individuals and families deserve safe, temporary shelter and that planning for permanent housing should begin immediately. New York City provides shelter to families that have no permanent or temporary place to live.

*Advisory*

The Section 8 and public housing priorities are no longer available in the family shelter system. A rental assistance program, FHEPS, is available to families on Public Assistance. If you are currently in a shelter, speak to your Housing Specialist for more information.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE

Families with a viable housing option will not be determined eligible for shelter services, however, you may qualify for one of the many homelessness prevention programs that assist families in retaining their existing housing. If you already are homeless and preventive assistance cannot help you keep your existing housing, DHS will provide temporary emergency shelter in a safe environment. Before being placed in shelter, however, your family must be found eligible.

In order for you and your family to be found eligible, DHS must verify that your family is in immediate need of temporary emergency shelter. DHS will conduct an investigation to determine whether there is any other safe and appropriate place for you and your family to stay, even temporarily. To aid the investigation, you should provide any documents that will help investigators understand why you now are homeless. Examples include: eviction papers, marshal’s 72-hour notices, letters from landlords or managing agents, letters from people you used to live with, and documents from doctors or other professionals showing that a former apartment no longer may be appropriate.

To be found eligible for emergency housing assistance, you and your family must apply for, or already be receiving, Public Assistance. HRA’s Eligibility Processing Unit is located at the family intake center, and will help your family apply.

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What constitutes a family with children?

DHS considers families with children to be the following households:

  • Families with children younger than 21 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • Families with a pregnant woman

Where do families with children apply for shelter?

All families with children must apply for shelter at DHS’ Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) intake center. PATH, located in the Bronx, is a state-of-the-art and eco-friendly facility that has been specifically sized, staffed, and laid out to meet the demand for homeless services. At nearly 77,000 square feet, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility measures 213 percent larger than the previous intake center. With a discreetly located medical suite, storage availability, and spacious waiting areas on each floor, complete with security kiosks and audio-visual notification systems, the center aims to engage clients and make them feel secure in their surroundings, from entry to departure. Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) 151 East 151st Street Bronx, NY

  • PATH is open 24 hours per day, including weekends and holidays.
  • PATH processes applications during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • The main telephone number for PATH is (917) 521-3900.

How to Get There:

Subway: Take the 2, 4, or 5 train to 149th Street/Grand Concourse Station. Head west on East 149th Street toward Grand Concourse. Walk north on Grand Concourse two blocks, to East 151st Street and turn left. Walk two blocks to Walton Avenue. The PATH office is located at the corner on your right.

To learn more about PATH, download our brochure.

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What do families need to bring to PATH in order to apply for shelter?

All families who are applying for shelter at PATH must have proper identification for all members of their household, such as:

  • Any form of ID with a picture and proof of age, such as a welfare ID card, green card, driver’s license, passport or 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

Family workers are available on-site to help families obtain necessary information and documents from government agencies and third parties, to the extent reasonably possible.

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What if I don’t speak English?

Interpreter assistance will be made available for individuals who do not speak English.

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What is involved with the application process at PATH?

Families with children 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 a family arrives at PATH, they will first be interviewed by a Human Resources Administration (HRA) caseworker, who will inquire about their living situation and explain the services that may help them avoid entering shelter- including family mediation, anti-eviction legal services, out-of-city relocation assistance, Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS), or a one-shot deal through HRA. 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 to them.

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What if I don’t agree with the Agency’s eligibility determination?

Every household has a right to a legal conference at PATH 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. Again, the eligibility process is designed to ensure that resources are being preserved for those who are truly in need, and that families with housing alternatives can remain stably housed in the community. While shelter is a valuable resource to those in need, it should never be considered a home.
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Adults

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 and child or sibling family relationship or share a “caretaking” (emotionally or physically supportive) relationship, including:
    • aunt or uncle to niece or nephew
    • grandparent to grandchild
    • parent to child or stepchild
    • siblings

Clients must be able to verify that their household constitutes a family as defined above and can demonstrate that they have resided with one another for 180 days within the year immediately prior to the date of their application.

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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, turn left, and head north to 30th Street.

Bus: Take the M15 to 29th Street.

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What if I don’t speak English?

Interpreter assistance will be made available for individuals who do not speak English.

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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, such as:

  • Any form of ID with a picture and proof of age, such as a welfare ID card, green card, driver’s license, passport or 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

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.

Please be advised that clients should not bring the following items into AFIC:

  • 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 goods)
  • Friends and visitors, or anyone not a part of the applicant family
  • Food
  • Furniture
  • Cameras
  • Appliances
  • Pets

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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 Administration (HRA). 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 to them.

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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.
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Single Adults

What constitutes a single adult?

DHS considers a single adult to be any man or woman over the age of 18 who seeks shelter independently, without being accompanied by other adults or minors.

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Where do single adults apply for shelter?

Men
All single adult males must apply at:

30th Street Intake Center
400-430 East 30th Street
New York, NY
30th Street 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, turn left, and go north to 30th Street. Entrance is now at 30th Street and 1st Avenue.

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Women
All single adult women must apply at one of the following locations:

HELP Women’s Shelter
116 Williams Avenue (between Liberty Avenue and Glenmore Avenue) Brooklyn, NY

How to Get There:
Subway: Take the C train to Liberty Avenue.

Franklin Shelter
1122 Franklin Avenue (near 166th Street) Bronx, NY

How to Get There:
Take the 2 train to 149th Street, followed by the #55 bus to 166th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Homeless individuals who have been in shelter in the last 12 months should return to the same shelter.

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What do single adults need to bring to the intake center in order to apply for temporary housing assistance?

The following forms of ID are very helpful during the intake process (but are not required):

  • Any form of ID with a picture and proof of age, such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport or visa, welfare card or green card
  • Social Security card
  • Medicaid card, if available
  • If working, your most recent pay stub

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What if I don’t speak English?

Interpreter assistance will be made available for individuals who do not speak English.

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Veterans Shelters

Housing Resources for Homeless Veterans

Homeless veterans in need of short-term housing continue from DHS intake/assessment shelters to the VSU, where they receive referrals to transitional housing at one of two veteran-specific facilities: the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence (BAVR), a 243-bed short-term housing facility for male and female veterans, and the Porter Avenue site, an employment-focused facility offering services for 138 male veterans. In addition to providing services tailored toward this special population of clients, such facilities also provide veterans with the added benefit of mutual camaraderie and support alongside their peers.

Click here for Housing Resources for Homeless Veterans

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