OUR IMPACT

For more than 30 years, the Coalition has developed and implemented humane, cost-effective solutions to New York’s homelessness crisis. Scan the timeline below for highlights of our programs and landmark litigation, and click entries to learn more.
Swipe through the timeline to view our impact from 1980 - 2014.

OUR COMMITMENT

The Coalition for the Homeless is unique in providing both lifesaving frontline services and groundbreaking large-scale advocacy.

The Coalition’s first legal victory, Callahan v. Carey, established New York City’s right to shelter for homeless adult men – a crucial first step in establishing subsequent victories on behalf of homeless women and children. Since then, the Coalition has won a string of legal victories including securing medically appropriate housing for people living with HIV/AIDS and ensuring the right to vote for Americans without homes. We continue to serve as the court-appointed monitor of the shelter system for single adults and vigorously defend the hard-fought rights we have secured for our city’s poorest and most marginalized. Our large scale advocacy work has established a baseline of human decency and care for those most often marginalized, ignored and forgotten in our society.

The Coalition’s direct service programs bring lifesaving support to more than 3,500 homeless men, women and children each day. We provide emergency food and blankets, eviction prevention, crisis services and individual advocacy, permanent housing, job training and special programs for homeless youth. Our mobile soup kitchen delivers hot nutritious meals to 1,000 people living rough on the streets every single night without fail, and our Crisis Services programs help more than 10,000 people each year with a wide array of problems ranging from lost identification to impending eviction to a need for mental health services. We are the place where those who have been turned away everywhere else can come and receive compassionate and professional help.

The Coalition is out in the shelters and on the streets every single day, meeting homeless people where they are, and homeless New Yorkers know the doors of our headquarters in Lower Manhattan are always open to them. Our constant frontline presence enables us to effectively amplify the voices of homeless people themselves in fighting for real solutions to homelessness in City Hall and Albany, and our historic role in establishing and defending the rights of homeless men, women and children make our program staff uniquely qualified to help those in need. Simply put, our advocacy informs our programs, and our programs inform our advocacy. This dual focus gives the Coalition its legitimacy as the most trusted source of information for policymakers, academics, the press, the general public and homeless people themselves.

The Coalition advances only sensible and fiscally-sound solutions to New York’s crisis of homelessness.  Decades of empirical evidence clearly demonstrate that housing-based solutions to homelessness cost taxpayers far less than stopgap emergency measures, and result in homeless individuals and families remaining stably housed for the long term.  While the average cost to taxpayers of keeping a homeless family in shelter for one year is nearly $38,000, helping that family move into permanent housing by providing a temporary rental subsidy costs less than one-third of that amount.  For those with mental illness and other disabilities, the creation of permanent supportive housing units saves New Yorkers $10,000 per person per year.

PROTECTING RIGHTS

The Coalition’s first legal victory, Callahan v. Carey, established New York City’s right to shelter for homeless adult men – a crucial first step in establishing subsequent victories on behalf of homeless women and children. Since then, the Coalition has won a string of legal victories including securing medically appropriate housing for people living with HIV/AIDS and ensuring the right to vote for Americans without homes. We continue to serve as the court-appointed monitor of the shelter system for single adults and vigorously defend the hard-fought rights we have secured for our city’s poorest and most marginalized. Our large scale advocacy work has established a baseline of human decency and care for those most often marginalized, ignored and forgotten in our society.

SAVING LIVES

The Coalition’s direct service programs bring lifesaving support to more than 3,500 homeless men, women and children each day. We provide emergency food and blankets, eviction prevention, crisis services and individual advocacy, permanent housing, job training and special programs for homeless youth. Our mobile soup kitchen delivers hot nutritious meals to 1,000 people living rough on the streets every single night without fail, and our Crisis Services programs help more than 10,000 people each year with a wide array of problems ranging from lost identification to impending eviction to a need for mental health services. We are the place where those who have been turned away everywhere else can come and receive compassionate and professional help.

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE

The Coalition is out in the shelters and on the streets every single day, meeting homeless people where they are, and homeless New Yorkers know the doors of our headquarters in Lower Manhattan are always open to them. Our constant frontline presence enables us to effectively amplify the voices of homeless people themselves in fighting for real solutions to homelessness in City Hall and Albany, and our historic role in establishing and defending the rights of homeless men, women and children make our program staff uniquely qualified to help those in need. Simply put, our advocacy informs our programs, and our programs inform our advocacy. This dual focus gives the Coalition its legitimacy as the most trusted source of information for policymakers, academics, the press, the general public and homeless people themselves.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Coalition advances only sensible and fiscally-sound solutions to New York’s crisis of homelessness.  Decades of empirical evidence clearly demonstrate that housing-based solutions to homelessness cost taxpayers far less than stopgap emergency measures, and result in homeless individuals and families remaining stably housed for the long term.  While the average cost to taxpayers of keeping a homeless family in shelter for one year is nearly $38,000, helping that family move into permanent housing by providing a temporary rental subsidy costs less than one-third of that amount.  For those with mental illness and other disabilities, the creation of permanent supportive housing units saves New Yorkers $10,000 per person per year.