Eva Scroggins, founder of CrowdWed, remembers all too well what it was like to be homeless in New York City when she moved from Baltimore five years ago. “My job was supposed to transfer me, but changed their minds after I relocated.” She got help via the Brownsville Community Development Corporation in Brooklyn and lived in a women’s shelter until she found new employment and saved some money. Eva is proof that homelessness can happen to anyone and without warning.
Winter is an especially difficult time for homeless people in NYC. Here’s a quick guide to some immediate winter resources for those needing warmth and care against the winter cold and snow.
Food & Medical Care
New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) helps sponsor 6 Drop-In Centers. A warm shower, hot meal, laundry service, medical care and warm clothing items are given here. The Drop-In Center staff can help with shelter placement and employment referrals, as well. There are two 24-hour facilities, one in Manhattan and one in The Bronx. Additional centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island are open 7:30 a.m. – to 8:30 p.m. daily. Call 311 for travel directions.
The DHS also provides temporary emergency shelter for people who have no other housing options. Bring ID, if available. If you are new to the shelter system, you begin by going to an Intake Center. There are separate Intake Centers for single adults and for families. Staff members will assist with immediate shelter placement. Call 311 for more information, office hours and directions for all DHS locations.
New York Cares
214 West 29th Street
New York NY 10001
Office: 212-228-5000 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday)
Emergency Contact (after hours): 646-483-7080
New York Cares conducts an annual coat drive. Gently used, freshly laundered coats are available by contacting the main office. Coat vouchers can be retrieved at the address above or can be mailed. All vouchers have expiration dates (most expire by or before January 21st) and list specific pick-up locations.
Hats, Gloves, Scarves
Hats for the Homeless members crochet, knit and collect hats, gloves and scarves to hand out to NYC’s homeless. These items are given away via St. Francis Xavier’s Soup Kitchen at 55 West 15th Street on the weekend before Christmas. Stop by the soup kitchen or write to email@example.com . Additional warm weather accessories might be available beyond the holidays.