The Coalition for the Homeless’ Client Advisory Group (CAG) was formed nearly two decades ago to give homeless and formerly homeless New Yorkers a mechanism to share common experiences, support each other, and effectively advocate for themselves. CAG meets weekly in the Coalition’s headquarters to engage in activism, education, empowerment, and socialization.
CAG meetings are facilitated by the Coalition’s Shelter Specialist, who leads the group in discussions about topics that directly impact their lives. CAG members identify the issues of most concern to them including conditions in homeless shelters; access to affordable housing; employment; public benefits; and other relevant City, State, and Federal policies. Members also share their personal stories and help each other cope with the trauma and stresses of homelessness.
The Coalition, as the independent monitor of the NYC municipal shelter system, is uniquely able to help shelter residents advocate for themselves, empowering them with information, education, access, and resources.
The roundtable style of the weekly meetings gives CAG members a forum for sharing common experiences and challenges in the shelters and on the streets, giving each member a valuable sense of belonging and purpose.
Outside of the weekly meetings, CAG plays a central role in the Coalition’s broader advocacy efforts. In addition to helping inform other shelter residents of their legal rights, CAG members provide a voice for homeless New Yorkers to the general public and elected officials at press conferences, rallies, and marches.
CAG launched its quarterly newsletter for shelter residents, The Monitor, in June of 2018.
CAG meets 5pm-7pm every Tuesday at the Coalition’s office: 129 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan. Dinner and MetroCards are provided. All are welcome!