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The Bowery Mission
The Bowery Mission

Organizations that help the homeless in NYC

Find volunteer opportunities with these organizations that help the homeless

Written by
Time Out contributors
Jenna Marotta

Homelessness is a serious issue around the country, especially in NYC. As temperatures drop, the situation becomes even more dire. Fortunately there are organizations working tirelessly to help the homeless, and you can get involved. Whether you want to give back through a holiday volunteer opportunity or, even better, commit to volunteering regularly, here are some amazing non-profit organizations that help the homeless in NYC.

These organizations offer shelter and counseling, advocate for fair housing, provide job training, serve meals and more, all to benefit the homeless. Contact each organization directly to find out what kind of volunteer work they need most. Some may need people with a particular skill set, others just need donations, and others need hands-on help. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding thing to do, and helping the homeless is an urgent and constant need. If you wish to include homeless animals in your volunteer search, check out these pet adoption organizations in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Where to volunteer in NYC

Organizations that help the homeless

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.

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.


WiN encompasses 13 shelters and more than 400 supportive housing units in the five boroughs, making it the largest provider of family shelter and supportive housing in NYC. Domestic violence counseling and drug and alcohol treatment programs are also available.

BronxWorks’ Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) is on the streets 24/7 to help homeless individuals secure long-term housing, medical and psychiatric services, and referrals to drug and alcohol treatment programs.


Each night, 1,000 people who would otherwise go hungry are served a meal thanks to the 35-year-old institution, which also functions as a job-training hub and a crisis-intervention center for at-risk families.

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.


Its East New York center helps families secure housing and teaches them skills to maintain their new homes, while its Positive Step program offers a wealth of support to homeless men and women at risk for HIV.

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.

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