Reports on street homelessness are always staggering. We’re glad that New York Times reporter Winnie Hu highlighted organizations doing work to help those who need it most and highlighted a piece of what we do in the article "New York City Reaches Out to Homeless People Who Are Wary of Traditional Shelters." The fact is, Goddard Riverside Community Center knows this work very well. Since 2007, our Manhattan Outreach Consortium (MOC) has led all street homeless outreach in Manhattan, 24/7, and has successfully housed thousands of individuals. Since that time, outreach teams have placed 2,788 individuals off the street into housing. 1,391 of those individuals have been placed into permanent housing, 92% of which have remained permanently housed after one year.
In the winter and during severe weather, our teams double up and stay out around the clock, paying close attention to the individuals we know — making sure to check on them and their known areas regularly. Also, with 600 units of permanent, affordable housing, we ensure that more individuals have a chance at living independently in safe, supportive communities that address a full range of needs. Tonight, we’ll take our work a step further for NYC’s Annual Hope Count. Along with partner organizations and volunteers, we will lead teams and canvass parks, subways, and other public spaces to estimate the number of people living unsheltered in the city and collect vital information for outreach teams to help homeless people leave the streets for a better life.