Single Adults Having Problems Accessing Shelter

Due to the public health crisis posed by COVID-19, Crisis Intervention walk-in services are temporarily closed.

In order to stay healthy and safe, we suggest staying indoors in a shelter, traveling as little as possible, and keeping a safe distance between yourself and others.

If you have a question about accessing shelter or other services, including if you have been denied access to shelter, please call 1-888-358-2384, the Crisis Intervention emergency hotline, and leave a detailed message, including your phone number. We will do our best to respond to you as soon as possible. Please note that the Crisis Intervention Program is based in NYC and only able to respond to questions regarding NYC services.

You have a right to apply for and receive shelter if you have no other safe, available housing option. You must be allowed to apply for shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on where to access shelter, please click here.

There is no application process for a single man or woman to receive shelter. You should receive a shelter bed the same day you apply. You also have certain rights in terms of the conditions in shelter and resources the shelter must make available, click here to learn more about your rights in shelter. The staff will gather some demographic information from you and may ask that you meet with a diversion worker who will try to help you avoid entering shelter. This worker may offer you assistance with benefits, relocation assistance, or discuss with you any options to locate permanent housing. This worker is not part of the shelter application and placement process. You still have a right to apply for and receive shelter no matter what is discussed in diversion. Click here for more information about your rights with respect to diversion.

Following placement in shelter, there is roughly a 21 day assessment period during which shelter staff will ask you to come to a number of meetings, including meeting with a psychiatrist, to discuss the reason that you are in need of shelter now. These meetings are intended to help the shelter staff and Department of Homeless Services to understand how they can best help you. Following these meetings, and approximately three weeks in shelter, you may be transferred to a site that may be called your permanent shelter site. The workers here will be focused on helping you come up with a plan to help you leave shelter, including helping you to apply for benefits, complete assessments and applications for housing programs. Click here to learn more about housing programs for which you might qualify.

Some clients report pressure to leave shelter by a specific deadline or to accept placement into a three quarter house or transitional housing by DHS or shelter staff, click here to find out more about the dangerous conditions in three quarter houses and your rights. You have a right to shelter until, working with your case manager and shelter staff, you locate permanent housing. 

However, under Department of Homeless Services rules, shelter residents can be ejected from shelter for a minimum of 30 days if DHS claims that you have not accepted a suitable, available housing option, have been non-compliant in other ways, or have broken a shelter rule. Click here to learn more about sanctions and your rights.