Ali Forney Center
One of Bea Arthur’s favorite charities, the Ali Forney Center, places homeless LGBT youth (up to 40 percent of New York’s homeless youngsters are queer-identified) in apartments overseen by on-site counselors throughout the city. The center also has medical care, counseling, education programs and employment assistance. 224 W 35th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-222-3427, aliforneycenter.org). E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Founded in 1879 on the original Skid Row, this venerable organization aims to transform the lives of homeless people caught in the cycle of poverty. In addition to providing the immediate needs of food, shelter and clothing, the Mission also offers recovery programs and a free medical clinic. 227 Bowery between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-674-3456, bowery.org). Call 800-871-6347 to volunteer.
Coalition for the Homeless
The coalition hands out baby formula, work uniforms and school supplies, as well as 1,000 emergency meals per night to those in need. It also hosts an eviction-prevention program that awards rent grants to families on the brink of homelessness and a youth sleepaway camp. 129 Fulton St at Nassau St (212-776-2000, coalitionforthehomeless.org). E-mail email@example.com to volunteer.
The Doe Fund
This organization assists formerly homeless and incarcerated adults in becoming self-sufficient by helping them find permanent housing and gain skills needed to rejoin the workforce. Volunteers with hiring or professional experience can conduct mock interviews during two-hour sessions, after which you’ll provide feedback over a dinner prepared by the Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts Program participants. Those interested in a more regular commitment can work one-on-one with trainees for two hours per week to help them achieve their GEDs or focus on career development and résumé building. (212-628-5207, doe.org)
Picture the Homeless
Organized by local homeless individuals, Picture the Homeless advocates for affordable housing and civil rights by offering free training in community activism and organization. There are also gratis job-training courses, coffee and computer labs open to all. 2427 Morris Ave between 184th and 188th Sts, Bronx (646-314-6423, picturethehomeless.org). E-mail Sam Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
New York City Rescue Mission
As one of the city’s oldest missions, it’s given food, clothing and shelter to Gothamites since 1872. These days, the NYCRM also has training programs to bulk up people’s job skills and experience and is always looking for tutors for adults and children. 90 Lafayette St at White St (212-226-6214). Fill out an application at nycrescue.org/act/volunteer to volunteer.
Women in Need
This agency focuses on New York’s most vulnerable homeless population: families. Regaining stability in their lives can require services beyond those provided by basic shelters, including drug and alcohol treatment programs, child care and domestic-violence counseling. To do your part, organize a group of friends or coworkers to teach a career-skills workshop or work with kids at the after-school program for a day. Solo volunteers should attend one of Women in Need’s monthly informational sessions, at which you can sign up for a three-month stint helping with a variety of tasks. (212-695-4758, women-in-need.org)
Read more about NYC's homeless
Continuing our series on New York's hidden homeless, we spent a day with Queens native Shameeka Jackson—one of over 50,000 homeless New Yorkers in the city's shelter system. Nearly a third of those in the system work, and Jackson is one of them; she told us about her experience.Read more
Wrapping up our series on New York's hidden homeless, we spent a day with Far Rockaway, Queens native Danielle Stalluto. Along with her son and daughter, Danielle's family are part of 80 percent of more than 50,000 homeless New Yorkers in the city's shelter system that live with their spouses or children.Read more