Vote: Homeless New Yorkers Have a Voice

With only three weeks until Election Day, it’s important that homeless New Yorkers prepare to exercise their right to vote.


  • The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping in municipal shelters has risen 32 percent, reaching 61,464 people in August 2016.
  • The cost of living has skyrocketed: Now, half of New Yorkers spend at least 30 percent of their income on rent.

In 1984, the Coalition for the Homeless filed the lawsuit Pitts v. Black, which guaranteed the right to vote for homeless New Yorkers living in shelter, on the street, or in welfare hotels.

This year’s elections offer the chance to choose Federal and State representatives whose agendas and policies have a direct, daily impact on the lives of poor and homeless New Yorkers. With so much at stake, your vote matters.

Despite recent improvements in the economy, the poverty rate in NYC remains high, and it has become harder for poor and low-income New Yorkers to find safe, suitable apartments they can afford. As a result, more New Yorkers are experiencing homelessness.

In order to help people transition out of homelessness – and to prevent more people from becoming homeless – we need a combined effort from the Federal, State and City governments. Elected officials have the power to implement housing-based solutions to homelessness and end this crisis once and for all – but they also have the power to dismantle vital programs and drive even more people into shelters. Your vote matters.

Throughout history, elections have been decided by a very small number of votes. With more than 37,000 voting-age adults in NYC shelters alone, homeless voters will have a significant impact on this election. Your vote matters.


ELECTION DAY: November 8th

TIME: Anytime between 6am and 9pm

LOCATION: To find your Poll Site, contact the New York City Board of Elections: 1-866-VOTE-NYC

IDENTIFICATION: You do not need ID in order to vote in New York. If you’re a registered voter, your signature is the only ID you need.

For more info or assistance, contact:

NYC Board of Elections: 1-866-VOTE-NYC (toll-free)

NYPIRG: 212-349-6460 x1166

Coalition for the Homeless: 212-776-2003