Coalition for the Homeless Launches Home is Hope Campaign

New campaign advocates for right to housing and marks the 40th anniversary of the legal right to shelter in NYC.

New York, NY — November 29, 2021 — Today, the Coalition for the Homeless launched Home is Hope, a new campaign highlighting the urgent need for a right to housing. The campaign also marks the 40th anniversary of New York’s legal right to shelter, which was secured by the Coalition in 1981, creating a foundation of decency in our city that we must now build upon. While the right to shelter has given more than a million homeless New Yorkers a way off the streets, a shelter is not a home. The Home is Hope campaign underscores that New Yorkers need real homes in order to have hope for a better future.

The campaign, produced by Arnold NY, features a new PSA being released today featuring celebrities Misty Copeland, Andrew Rannells, Peppermint, and Damien Escobar, as well as New Yorkers from across the boroughs who proclaim that everyone in our city deserves the right to a home – which brings the right to hope.

“Over the past 40 years, the right to shelter has saved countless lives by giving people who’ve lost their homes an alternative to bedding down on the streets. But a shelter is not a home. The ‘homelessness crisis’ of the past four decades is in fact a housing crisis, and only by ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to decent affordable housing will we be able to leave this crisis behind. New York should be leading the way in ensuring that all who live here have the dignity and safety of a home. There is no more basic human right,” said Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Dave Giffen.

For more information on Home is Hope, visit


Additional background: New York City’s right to shelter was secured for homeless adult men in 1981 with the signing of the Callahan consent decree, which settled the landmark case Callahan vs. Carey and led to the formation of the Coalition for the Homeless that same year. The right to shelter was later expanded to include homeless adult women and then homeless families through subsequent litigation by the Coalition and The Legal Aid Society.

The right to shelter is not the solution to homelessness – it is simply the very least we can do to ensure that people who have lost their homes are not left to live, and die, on our streets. The most effective solution to mass homelessness is to create a sufficient amount of affordable permanent and supportive housing so that every New Yorker has the opportunity to live in a real home.