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New York City Department of Homeless Services


New York City Department of Homeless Services

Department of Homeless Services
Department overview
Jurisdiction New York City
Headquarters 33 Beaver Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10004[1]
Employees 1,949 (2015)[2]
Annual budget $953 million (2015)[2]
Department executive
  • Gilbert Taylor[3], Commissioner of Homeless Services
Child department
Key document
Website /

The New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is the department of the government of New York City[4] that provides services to the homeless, though its ultimate aim is to overcome homelessness.[5] The guiding principles of the department were outlined at a 1992 New York City Commission on the Homeless: to operate an emergency shelter system for people without housing alternatives, provide services and resources to assist shelter residents in gaining independent housing, and partner with local agencies and non-profits to provide these services.[6] Its two rules are compiled in title 31 of the New York City Rules; state regulations are primarily compiled in title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.


  • Organization 1
  • Programs 2
  • Analysis and criticism 3
  • History 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


NYC DHS operates a group of NYS Peace Officers who enforce State and City laws on DHS property, the NYC DHS Police who are responsible for safety and security inside of NYC DHS Homeless Shelters.

Administrative reviews ("Fair Hearings") are handled by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Administrative Hearings.[7]


  • Single Adult Shelters
  • Adult Family Shelters
  • Family with Children Shelters
  • Domestic Violence for victims Shelters
  • Vitamins Shelters
  • Senior Citizens Shelters

In 2010, the department oversaw 208 facilities with 18,616 beds and served 113,553 unique individuals.[8] In 2015, the department's budget was $953.5 million.[2]

Analysis and criticism

In a March 2015 report of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) on shelters for families with children, the DOI "found that the family shelters it inspected and reviewed are too often unsafe and unhealthy for children and families".[9][10] Some homeless say they are denied shelter because the shelter lacks resources for couples without children, and some say they refuse to live in shelters because they are unsafe, because of violence, theft and poor conditions.[11][12][13]


When the department was created in 1993, New York City was the first city to have a city department that was exclusively focused on the issue of homelessness.[6] The Department of Homeless Services was created in response to the growing number of homeless New Yorkers and the 1981 New York Supreme Court Consent Decree that mandates the State provide shelter to all homeless people.[14] Its first commissioner was Muzzy Rosenblatt, who convinced David Dinkins that the homeless shelters could be run more efficiently were it a separate department from the New York City Human Resources Administration.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Report on the Fiscal Year 2015 Executive Budget for the Department of Homeless Services, New York City Council
  3. ^ Commissioner Diamond's Bio on
  4. ^ New York City Charter § 610; "There shall be a department of homeless services, the head of which shall be the commissioner of homeless services."
  5. ^ "New York City Department of Homelessness Services - About". New York City Department of Homelessness Services. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  6. ^ a b Campbell, G.; McCarthy, E. (2000). "Conveying Mission Through Outcome Measurement: Services to the Homeless in New York City".  
  7. ^ "Fair Hearings".  
  8. ^ "New York City Department of Homelessness Services - Critical Activities Report 2010" (PDF). New York City Department of Homelessness Services. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Hu, Winnie (12 March 2015). "Review of New York Shelter System Finds Hundreds of Violations".  
  11. ^ Upadhye, Janet (25 March 2014). "Tillary Street Women's Shelter Rife With Violence, Residents Say".  
  12. ^ Villaseñor, María (16 February 2015). "Homeless men share why they prefer the streets over New York City shelters — even when cold weather hits".  
  13. ^ Schweber, Nate (6 September 2015). "Life on the Streets".  
  14. ^ "The Callahan Consent Decree" (PDF). 

External links

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