About the Coalition for the Homeless

Mission Statement

The Coalition for the Homeless is the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children. We believe that affordable housing, sufficient food and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society. Since our inception in 1981, the Coalition has worked through litigation, public education and direct services to ensure that these goals are realized.

The Coalition’s effectiveness derives from our unique role as both an advocacy and direct service organization.  Our programs, shelter monitoring and grassroots organizing enable us to meet homeless people where they are – giving voice and hope to the most marginalized among us. Our advocacy is informed by the very real daily struggles of our homeless neighbors, and seeks practical, humane and cost-effective long-term solutions proven to work. Because every New Yorker deserves a home.

What We Do

For more than three decades, the Coalition for the Homeless has developed and implemented humane, cost-effective strategies to end mass homelessness in New York City. Our model programs represent solutions that can dramatically reduce the homeless population and prevent homelessness among those most at risk.

Every day, our 11 frontline programs help more than 3,500 men, women and children survive immediate crises and help them on the path to long-term stability. We witness firsthand the challenges they face and shape our services to best meet their needs, providing emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training and special programs for homeless youth.

Our renowned advocacy tirelessly fights for investments in proven, cost-effective housing-based solutions to mass homelessness. Our first legal victory, Callahan v. Carey, established the right to shelter for homeless adult men — a crucial first step in our subsequent victories on behalf of homeless women and children. Since then, the Coalition has won a string of legal actions including securing medically appropriate housing for people living with HIV/AIDS and ensuring the right to vote for Americans without homes.

The Coalition is a vocal and invaluable city and statewide resource for homeless people, at-risk populations, other advocates and service providers, policymakers and the public at large. We have earned the reputation as the most credible source of information on homelessness, its causes, and solutions.