Department of Homeless Services (DHS)

The NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) works to prevent homelessness, reduce street homelessness, and provide short-
term, emergency shelter for individuals and families who have no other housing options available. They will guide you through a plan for rehousing.

Where can I go for help?​

At Your Shelter

Talk to your case manager for any questions regarding your family. In some shelters, there are 
client care coordinators that can help connect you to mental health and wellness resources. Talk to your housing specialist about your plan to achieve permanent housing.  Your family assistant can answer questions about your child’s education and school transportation.

Contact the Office of Prevention Technical Assistance (OPTA)

Call the OPTA Helpline at (212) 676-7667 to learn about prevention services. 

Call 311 and Ask for Prevention Service

Enter Shelter at PATH

PATH is an intake center for families with children who need emergency shelter. It’s run by the Department of Homeless Services.

Who may apply for services?

  • Families with children younger than 21 years of age

  • Pregnant women

  • Families with a pregnant woman

What's the contact information?

  • Open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

  • Located in the Bronx at 151 East 151st Street.

  • The main telephone number is (917) 521-3900.

What should I know before I go?

  • All family members seeking shelter must be present for the application process.

  • You need to show ID for each family member. If you don’t have ID, DHS will still make efforts to help you.

  • The application process can take many hours, so keep your day free.

  • You can’t bring outside food, but snacks are provided there.

  • PATH staff will give you an attendance letter that excuses your child or children’s absence from school that day.

Where can I find more information about the process?

The PATH web page tells you which documents to bring and what the process is like. There’s also a downloadable brochure that explains the process in more detail, as well as the other services available at PATH.

→ Learn More About PATH

Meet Family Assistants at Shelter

Family assistants are Department of Education staff who support families in shelter and some schools with educational needs. You will meet them for intake and assessment, and they can help you with school enrollment, getting immunizations and school records, organizing transportation to and from school, and addressing any other questions or concerns you may have about school attendance or education.

 

If you don’t know who your family assistant is, you can ask staff at your shelter. You can also reach out to the regional manager in your school district, who supervises family assistants. You can find your regional manager by using the link below. 

Find a Regional Manager

What services do they offer?​

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The Benefits Navigator was designed with temporarily housed parents and frontline staff, in a collaboration between the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Homeless Services, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, NYC Human Resources Administration, and the Public Policy Lab, a nonprofit innovation team for government. Support was provided by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.

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