Staff Info

Why a Benefits Navigator?

Families experiencing housing instability often need to navigate a complex landscape of services, benefits, and resources. The Benefits Navigator makes this process easier. It’s a single place to go, simplifies complex information, and orients families to avenues of support.

How is the Benefits Navigator being used?

Most families find the Benefits Navigator simple enough to explore on their own. However, it can also be used to support conversations between staff and families, such as in schools, shelters, youth drop-in centers, HRA Service Centers, and at PATH.

How can I use it?

  • Outreach: if you think a family is experiencing housing instability, send the website link so that they can become informed and seek support

  • Intake: walk through the Benefits Navigator when discussing resources families can use

  • Self-education: many staff also find it helpful to see all the resources available to temporarily housed families in one place

How can I promote it? 

Raise public awareness about the Benefits Navigator by printing posters and placing them in physical environments and announcing the tool on social media.

Links to posters and social media assets:

Poster placement suggestions:

  • DHS: place posters in PATH, shelter noticeboards, and frontline staff offices

  • DOE: place posters in schools, STH field staff offices, and at parent events

  • DYCD: place posters at youth drop-in centers

  • HRA: place posters in Service Centers and DV shelters

  • ACS: place posters in Family Enrichment Centers

  • OSH: place posters in nurse offices

  • Branch libraries: place posters on noticeboards

Who made the Benefits Navigator ?

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.