Safe Horizon plays a major role in New York City's crisis response system. As the official operator of New York City's 311 hotlines for Domestic Violence, Rape and Sexual Assault, and Crime Victims, we field nearly 100,000 calls per year from New Yorkers in crisis. In total, we serve over 250,000 people per year, and maintain a physical presence within New York City's human services infrastructure, including in all NYPD precincts, all New York City Criminal and Family Courts, in nine domestic violence and homeless youth shelters, and more.
Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project operates two drop-in centers in Manhattan that provide daytime services, a mobile community outreach unit, and a crisis shelter that serves young people up to age 20. Around mid-March, we were forced to cut the number of beds in our youth crisis shelter in half in order to keep clients safely distanced, though our drop-in centers remain open for services like showers, laundry, meals, to-go food, and other basic needs.
Many youth providers in New York City are finding themselves at full capacity or are not able to accept any new clients for services. Fortunately, Streetwork Project has been there to accept client overflow from other providers that are over capacity or temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus.
“If a young person needs a shower, we’re not going to deny them that, of course,” Villarin said. “We refuse to not provide the service. We just have to do it differently.”
Though Safe Horizon has experienced unprecedented barriers when it comes to meeting clients where they are during these difficult times, we are encouraged by the expertise, creativity, and resilience of the survivors and staff that we are so privileged to work with.
We are so grateful for your support and hope you continue to help us provide essential services to homeless young people during this incredibly challenging time.