About This Initiative

INITIATIVE #1: NYC Family Shelters
NYC Service works with the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the NYC Department of Education to create volunteer support for libraries and tutors in DHS Family Shelters.
The program includes books donated to each shelter from Scholastic Inc., and seeks to serve over 4,000 children. Scholastic has donated 170 books per shelter, including bilingual books. NYC Service and DHS has partnered with the Queens, Brooklyn, New York Public Libraries and local literacy organizations to support the participating pilot libraries.
Volunteers have an impact by providing skills-based support to build capacity in family shelters through the following:
  • Liaise between supervisors and clients and other organizations such as the NY public library to ensure clients access services in the community.
  • Organize the library and book lending activities
  • Support with data collection to ensure program meets its goals
  • Assist with field trips and other activities as needed
  • Attend trainings and meetings
  • Mentor families and link them to resources in the community
To apply for a Library Specialist position in a NYC Family Shelter, please click here

INITIATIVE #2: HomeCorps

The HomeCorps Program will be phased in over the first two years of operation. In the first year, five HomeCorps members will work alongside three Civic Corps members for a total of eight participants working on homeless prevention. During the second year, five HomeCorps members will work alongside six Civic Corps members for a total of eleven participants. 

Activities for HomeCorps Program will include:

  • Organize and lead workshops for clients moving out of shelters
  • Prepare move-out packages for clients leaving shelter system
  • Talk with clients about their options once they are in their communities
  • Conduct community presentations and outreach about Homebase
  • Search for employment opportunities and suitable housing for clients
  • Assist clients with college applications and enrollment

Short-term outcome: 50 clients per month reporting that they have developed new skills as a result of an education or job training.

Intermediate outcome: 100 clients per month submitting their applications, with assistance from HomeCorps, for employment, internships, colleges, or financial aid.

Long-term outcomes:

  • Home base enrollments increase of 15%
  • People are prevented from entering New York City's shelter system
  • Individuals are transitioned into safe, healthy, affordable housing
  • HomeCorps members/interns gain practical expertise that will shape them as emerging     leaders concerned about social justice.

NYC Service will work with DHS to evaluate this new HomeCorps Program during its first years, aiming for the HomeCorps program to be absorbed into the DHS budget after three years of successful programming. NYC Service and DHS will contract with a consultant to develop surveys and data collection to evaluate the HomeCorps Program.


NYC Service is working in conjunction with DHS to increase volunteer enrollment for the HOPE Count program with a goal of enrolling to 3000+ volunteers in HOPE by January 2016. This will be achieved through a variety of means, including community presentations, tabling events, and street outreach—primarily by NYC Civic Corps Member placed in DHS’s Communications Department. To register to volunteer at the 2016 HOPE Count, please click here.

INITIATIVE #4: Public & Private Partnerships

In addition to the initiatives outlined above, NYC Service will work with the NYC Department of Homeless Services to develop and strengthen relationships with the private sector, identify partners, and access resources that can be used to prevent and reduce homelessness and support individuals living in homeless shelters.



Flatlands Family Residence

Kianga House

Park Avenue Manor

Providence House

Rose McCarthy Family Residence

Urban Strategies

The Bronx:

Concourse House

Crotona Inn

HELP USA Bronx Morris


Providence House Inc. Salvation Army

To visit DHS’s Organization Page and apply for addition volunteer opportunities, please click here