FY21 Annual Report
We believe the best way to solve homelessness is by preventing it.
Prevention is two-fold:
- Safeguarding New Yorkers in the homes they have via rental and legal assistance, mediation and supportive services.
- Safeguarding New York’s stock of affordable homes into the future via investments in affordable and supportive housing and market value housing vouchers.
The Partnership supports our clients by:
- Preventing eviction and immediate homelessness through rental assistance, legal referrals, property owner mediation and tenant education to keep people safely housed.
- Preventing ongoing risk of homelessness by offering families and individuals health and trauma-informed mental health services, making it possible for all to achieve lasting stability.
- Preventing intergenerational homelessness by removing barriers to children’s access to education and school — by keeping their families housed today — and preventing homelessness in the long term.
- Preventing the dearth of affordable housing by changing the public narrative to illustrate homelessness as a public health crisis that mostly impacts women and children, as well as engaging the public, media and government to promote and secure investments in safe and affordable housing.
The Partnership for the Homeless is committed to building a just and equitable society and creating lasting community change through solution-oriented programs and policy initiatives that will eliminate the root causes of homelessness.
Who We Serve
The Partnership serves New Yorkers experiencing, at risk of, or recovering from homelessness. This includes people of any ability, age, family type, gender, national origin, race and sexual orientation living in communities across the five boroughs.
Partnership makes prevention possible.
Believing homelessness is solvable is the foundation of our approach to solving homelessness. We seek out and work with partners to co-create a world in which housing is embraced as a human right and all New Yorkers are able to close the door to their own home each night. Partnership makes it possible to develop interventions that avert crises for New Yorkers today, and ensures ongoing stability over the long term. We build partnerships in every sector — philanthropy, business, government, nonprofits and the arts — and with individuals who want to support New Yorkers in need. In partnership, we maximize today’s success in ensuring that children and families stay in their homes, and in so doing, create an ROI that will have impact far into the future. See the complete list of our FY21 partners. >
Programs and Impact
More than 50,000 New Yorkers were reached by The Partnership’s housing, crisis and emergency services and health and education programs delivered in collaboration with hundreds of individual, corporate and philanthropic supporters, as well as government agencies. We are only able to achieve this impact in partnership with the scores of organizations throughout New York City that provide emergency shelter, housing, food and supportive services every day. In addition, we exposed audiences of millions to new understandings about homelessness through our community engagement efforts.
We are a partner for…
Maribel and her three children came to The Partnership a few months ago. Maribel was living in the Bronx with her partner, who was physically and emotionally abusive. Driven to protect her children, Maribel had her partner removed from their home. While this gave Maribel and her children a safe environment, they suffered from the loss of her partner’s income, and as Maribel struggled to make the income from her part-time restaurant job stretch, she fell behind on her rent payments.
Then, as the pandemic hit, the restaurant closed and she lost her job. As the months passed, Maribel was left without sufficient resources to support herself and her children, and things began to spiral. Maribel’s stress level kept pace with the rapidly increasing rental arrears and letters from the property owner, and she lay awake at night, scared, desperately trying to find an answer and worried about what would happen to her children if they lost their home.
After confiding in a neighbor, Maribel heard about the services of The Partnership. One afternoon a few months ago, when her children were not in the apartment, she dialed our number. Within minutes, she was talking to one of our Housing Coordinators, who immediately reassured Maribel that her home would be safeguarded. Our team reached out to the property owner and negotiated to clear Maribel’s rent arrears, and subsequently worked with Maribel to address further supports that her family needed. Safe in the knowledge that their home was protected, Maribel was able to support her children as they transitioned from remote to in-person school and find a new job to begin rebuilding her family’s security. As Maribel recently told us, she now sleeps through the night again.
Leroy, the property owner for Maribel’s building, is also sleeping better. As a small property owner, missed payments from tenants can translate as missed mortgage payments, putting his own family at risk as well as all of the families depending on the homes that his three buildings provide.
- Offer rental assistance and property owner mediation to prevent the immediate loss of home and future homelessness
- Refer clients to legal assistance
- Offer comprehensive benefits analysis and connect clients to income support services through government and community partners
- Revamped our rental assistance program to model a full payment approach. Providing full payment of rental arrears instead of partial assistance (the decades-old standard) eliminates the need for clients to spend weeks and months navigating multiple, lengthy application processes to secure multiple partial payments from different organizations, and efficiently provides them with a solid foundation upon which they can more quickly focus their attention on securing employment and/or education and restabilizing their lives.
- Increased per household payments to $4,000 (a 300% increase since pre-COVID), preventing an annual shelter cost per household of $68,000.
- 10,000 New Yorkers received housing and emergency services to stave off evictions and secure their existing homes through our partnerships with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Services, New York Community Trust, Hagedorn Fund and The Shack Sackler Foundation. [More…]
- Support clients living with HIV/AIDS to increase their health education and take control of their treatment
- Offer short-term, in-house clinical services and emotional well-being training
- Connect low-income New Yorkers to community partners for primary care and long-term therapeutic counseling services
- Using a trauma-informed lens, identify clients in need of interventions to prevent them from cycling in and out of crisis, which often precedes homelessness
- Partner with local soup kitchens/food pantries and FEMA to offer emergency food
- 6,500 New Yorkers received ongoing stabilizing support services, from clinical casework and mental health and emotional well-being interventions to basic necessities like furniture, clothing and toiletries.
- 35,000 meals were provided to New Yorkers in need, in partnership with groups such as FEMA, United Way, Metropolitan Community Church and the Church of the Village. [More…]
- With legal partners, advocate to keep children in school and placed in shelters near their schools
- Connect children to ongoing services that support their learning and advancement; including collaborating with local organizations to address specific remote learning needs for children during COVID-19 closures
- Partner with New York City schools to explore connection between children’s high absenteeism and their families’ housing instability
- The Partner for Education Fund prevents families from experiencing homelessness and improves children’s educational outcomes to interrupt intergenerational homelessness. The Fund also advocates to keep children living in New York City homeless shelters — nearly 15,000 — connected to their home schools and avoid the educational disruptions that lie at the root of intergenerational homelessness.
- 30,000+ children and parents in the family shelter system were impacted by our schools access advocacy project, with partners like Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and the New York City Department of Education. [More…]
- Partnering with leading journalists, launch an educational video series to change the public understanding of what homelessness is, and to highlight that it is mostly women of color and children who are impacted by the housing and homelessness crisis in New York City and across the United States (due to be released by end of 2021)
- Engage candidates and elected officials to advance that the City provide full payments of rent arrears instead of partial payments, in keeping with The Partnership’s approach, and implement a move at a citywide level to a common application process for rental assistance
- Collaborate with state and national organizations and ensure that the eviction moratoria stay in place, rental assistance funding increases and ERAP distribution of funds is streamlined and expedited
- 20 million+ audience exposed to public education campaigns about eviction prevention, education access and homelessness, especially relative to New York City’s COVID-19 guidance, and policy solutions to end homelessness through major news partners and social media.
We are a partner for…
Gilda reached out to The Partnership in the fall, when her two young children were just returning to school. She lives in Brooklyn in a small two bedroom apartment in a rent-stabilized building and works at a local grocery store. She was making ends meet, but barely. Each week, her schedule changed, making it difficult for her to arrange childcare or plan a budget. She was looking for a new job with a set schedule, but it was difficult to find something close by that would still give her time to take her children to school each day.
Then, her sister and brother-in-law both got COVID-19 — her sister had it badly enough that she was in the hospital for several weeks. Worried about her sister’s health, Gilda jumped in and started taking care of her niece and nephew. Thankfully, her sister recovered, but was not healthy enough to return to work. The family struggled with rent and bills. Gilda tried to help them out as much as she could.
During this crisis, as she dealt with her sister’s health and the extra burden of caring for all the children, Gilda’s hours at her job were reduced, adding even more financial stress to her life. She started to fall behind on her bills, struggled to put food on the table and watched as her rent arrears piled up. By the time she came to us, she owed three months’ rent. She was scared that she and her children would be evicted.
A neighbor suggested she should call The Partnership. She spoke to one of our Housing Coordinators, who quickly reassured her and let her know that she would be able to remain in her home. Our team contacted the property owner, negotiated the rent arrears owed and cleared her balance of $4,500. We then worked with Gilda to address additional supports that she and her family needed. Now that her home was protected, Gilda was able to focus on looking for a new job, with more hours and higher pay, while knowing that her children were safe and secure in their home.
COVID-19 and NYC today
While the city begins to recover, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue. New York City’s unemployment rate remains twice the national rate (over 10% vs. 5.2% in August 2021) and more than a million New Yorkers are in rent arrears. In these challenging times, we continue to work in partnership to keep New Yorkers in their homes. We are partnering with renters and property owners to negotiate lower rental arrears. Foundation and corporate partners, including Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and New York Community Trust are investing in emergency rental assistance in all five boroughs. Our partnerships with many generous individuals putting their hearts into helping their neighbors remain in their homes has resulted in a community of giving that ranges from $2 to as much as $100,000. Together, we are making it possible for hundreds of families and children to return to the safety and sanctuary of their homes at the end of each day. As we look ahead, we will continue to partner with other eviction prevention organizations to advocate for the government at all levels to support and expedite distribution of rental assistance and to prioritize housing as a human right. With high unemployment and the looming tsunami of evictions, we will need partnership more than ever to keep New Yorkers in their homes.
Preventing homelessness saves money and lives.
Prevention is less than one-third of the cost of homelessness. The roughly $68,000 it costs to keep a family with children in the NYC homeless shelter system is more than 3x the cost of keeping a family in their apartment with a monthly rent of $1,700, or $20,000 annually. Yet, the number of people experiencing homelessness and living in New York City’s shelters and on the streets over the past 10 years continues to rise. Today, more than 50,000 people, including nearly 15,000 children, are experiencing homelessness in New York City.
Prevention efforts improve the future trajectory of everyone facing eviction. Financial assistance and mediation make people 76% more likely to remain housed long term. Children who stay in their homes miss fewer days from school and double their chances of graduating from high school, compared to those who spend time in shelters. Prevention helps people to bypass the trauma of homelessness and offers resources to bring them more stability and better physical health and emotional well-being. Prevention also interrupts intergenerational homelessness: children whose families receive eviction prevention support grow up to earn higher pay than those who have experienced homelessness. In partnership, we can continue to offer critical interventions that will keep New Yorkers in their homes today, and for tomorrow.