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Single Adult Shelter System

The Callahan Consent Decree guarantees homeless single adults a right to shelter and certain standards for shelter placements. If you have no where to sleep, you can walk into an intake office and let the City know you have no where to stay – you have a right to receive a shelter placement the same night.

If you have had to sleep on the floor or in a chair in a shelter or been bused after midnight, please call the Coalition’s hotline:855-NYC-CFTH (855-692-2384). Leave a message with your name, date of birth, phone number and shelter.

Please note that the voicemail of the hotline is not checked every day. If you are without a place to sleep, we strongly suggest you come in to speak with an advocate in the Crisis Intervention Program at Coalition for the Homeless.  While we suggest you arrive early to sign in to see an advocate, if you are without any place to sleep at night please be sure to mention this to the security guard whenever you arrive.

While there is no eligibility process, there is an assessment period of approximately 21 days (although assessment can vary in length), to determine where you will be placed.  You may be transferred to another shelter for assessment or may stay at the intake shelter. Once your assessment is complete, DHS will transfer you to an “official shelter” where you will stay for a longer period of time. Your official shelter site may change while you are in shelter – click here for information about your rights with respect to shelter transfers.

The Callahan Consent Decree also guarantees access to certain resources and conditions in your shelter placement. You must receive a bed frame, a mattress, a locker and lock, your bed must be 3 feet apart from the other beds in the shelter, you must have access to linens, basic toiletries, and laundry services among other things. The Peoples Callahan outlines all of your rights in more detail.

Client Responsibility

Under the “Client Responsibility” procedure homeless individuals and families can be ejected from the shelter system for a minimum of 30 days if DHS claims that they did not comply with:

  • an “independent living plan” (ILP)
  • housing search requirements
  • facility rules concerning health and safety
  • scheduled appointments
  • saving requirements

Under the rules, shelter residents could be ejected from shelter for breaking curfew or missing appointments, for not complying with shelter savings plans, or other so-called “violations.”  Residents cannot be ejected from shelter if they have a mental or physical condition that makes them unable to follow these rules, although proving this is sometimes difficult.

The Coalition for the Homeless, working with our Client Advisory Group and the Client Advisory Boards, will fight to protect your rights. We will:

  • provide legal assistance
  • assist with fair hearings and other administrative appeals
  • ensure that you still have a roof over your head