Who We Are
For 35+ years, we have brought essential medical, mental, and behavioral health care to people experiencing homelessness in New York City.
Care For the Homeless (CFH) has met the medical, mental, and behavioral health care needs of people experiencing homelessness in New York City since 1985
We currently operate 24 health care delivery sites throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens and have plans to open more in the near future.
The majority of our service sites are co-located at facilities operated by other non-profits. These sites include shelters for single adults and families as well as assessment centers and soup kitchens. In addition, our community-based health center model brings services directly to neighborhoods where the need is most significant. Both models reduce the barriers that homeless New Yorkers regularly face in an increasingly complex health care system as well as increase access to high quality health care. All services are always provided, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.
In 2008, we launched our shelter services program with the opening of Susan’s Place. The 200-bed transitional shelter houses women who are mentally ill or medically frail, and is located in the Bronx. In 2019, we opened the 52nd Street Women’s Center, where we will continue to help more women move out of the shelter system and into stable, permanent housing.
In conjunction with our work in health care and shelter, we actively advocate for government policies aimed at the construction of more affordable housing and the creating of better health policy.
Homelessness carries an ugly stigma and is often viewed as a characteristic, something that cannot be altered, when it’s truly a condition. Conditions are treatable. Our accessible co-location and community-based health care models provide these essential treatments, working as a catalyst to break the cycle and alter the perceptions of homelessness.
A year later, a group of New York City homeless service providers and advocates held a meeting to respond to the proposal. There, they developed a plan to bring medical, mental health, and social services to individuals experiencing homelessness in their city.
However, this was only the first step. Based on their experience, the planners knew that people experiencing homelessness are often wary of judgement and being turned away by providers, consequently making them averse to accepting care. These legitimate concerns are especially true for those who are uninsured, have chronic conditions, struggle with substance abuse, and suffer from mental illness.
Avoiding care permits debilitating illnesses and chronic conditions to worsen and subsequently, prolong homelessness.
Therefore, building strong relationships with patients based on trust, fair treatment, and mutual respect, became a permanent tenet of our person-centered health care model. Striving to understand the unique and complex story of each individual patient, lets them know that they are heard, validated, and supported.
Our experiences over the past 35+ years have proven that prioritizing excellence in our services and in the ways our providers work with our patients, gradually allows people who have already been through so much, to trust again and have agency in their health care.