Most of us take for granted that when someone needs to send us a letter or important document, they will be able to do so by simply posting it to our mailing address. But for the thousands of homeless New Yorkers, the simple lack of a place to receive mail can be a huge stumbling block to getting back on their feet.
The Coalition’s Emergency Mail Program provides roughly 1,500 homeless families and individuals with a designated mailing address they can list when applying for benefits such as supplementary food assistance (SNAP/food stamps), public assistance, disability and social security income, medications and other vital services that require a permanent address. It also allows those without homes to provide a private – non-shelter – address to potential employers when seeking a job. The EMP’s automated system allows those using the program to easily call in at any time to find out if they have mail waiting for them or not.
The Emergency Mail Program provides an entry point for many homeless New Yorkers into the Coalition’s numerous other programs and services. Many of those who use the Emergency Mail Program on a daily or weekly basis establish relationships with the Coalition’s Crisis Intervention staff, who are able to comprehensively address additional critical needs.