Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter

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National Coalition for Shelter: Helping New Yorkers Find Their Way Home

Programs & Services

NCS provides housing and supportive services to homeless and formerly homeless single adults and to youth, ages 18-25, who are aging out of foster care or are homeless. Our core expertise is in serving the most difficult to engage and house New Yorkers—men and women who have been homeless for long periods of time and who face complex challenges, such as mental illness and chemical addiction, that make it difficult for them to seek out or receive support. In addition to providing housing, NCS has a dedicated and caring staff that assists individuals in their journey to independent living through counseling and treatment, educational and vocational training, job placement and financial education. NCS's over 30 years of experience and its progressive research agenda help to better understand the root causes of homelessness, improve service delivery and advance our mission to prevent and ultimately end homelessness.



NCS Residence
a long-term, supportive housing facility, which is home to 65 formerly homeless New Yorkers

Louis Nine House
supportive housing for 46 young adults who are homeless or aging out of foster care

transitional housing program for up to 10 chronically homeless men who have both mental illness and chemical dependency


Chance for Change
a state-licensed chemical dependency treatment program designed to serve homeless men and women

a vocational and educational program that helps men, women and young adults find and keep jobs.

NCS Research Program
seeks to identify the characteristics of chronically homeless adults to continually improve engagement strategies for serving this population

Information and Referral Services

CHIRP (Community Human Services Information and Referral Program)

Meal Program Services
Our staff provides information and referrals to homeless and low-income individuals at five free Manhattan meal programs on the Upper East Side.

Street Sheets
These pocket-sized local resource directories contain a wealth of valuable information from multi-service centers to meal services and everything in between. At meal program sites and elsewhere in the community, we distribute pocket-sized local resource directories. See one here.


NCS Residence

The NCS Residence, a long-term, supportive housing facility on East 81st Street in Manhattan, houses 65 formerly homeless men and women, the majority of whom are mentally ill and have been chronically homeless.

A 24-hour onsite staff provides a full range of services and programs to enhance and support residents’ independent living. Services include case management, psychiatric counseling, money management, vocational and educational training, meals and recreational activities.

In 2006, NCS completed a substantial renovation of the Residence. In addition to the refurbishment of the entire building, the renovation added a seventh-floor activity room and adjoining rooftop garden, as well as a lower-level tenant lounge, training kitchen and dining area, where many volunteer-led and other shared activities take place. These shared spaces and programs contribute to the sense of community so important to our residents. For information on the NCS Residence, please contact Bradley Spencer at or call (917) 677-4460.

Louis Nine House

Louis Nine House, located in the Bronx, has 46 studio apartments for young adults who are homeless or aging out of foster care. Louis Nine House provides affordable housing and an integrated continuum of support services designed to help young adults, aged 18-25, achieve stability, maintain sobriety, and work towards the self-sufficiency needed to obtain and sustain permanent housing and independent lives. At Louis Nine, we also offer Aim High with the Arts (AHA!), an arts program that helps lead residents to engage in personal and professional development activities. For information about Louis Nine House or referrals for housing, please contact Robert Yancey at or call (917) 477-2470.


Transitions is a structured program designed to support men in their journey to stable, independent living. Transitions provides three shared transitional apartments housing up to 10 chronically homeless men at a time. These men have histories of substance use and mental illness which are challenges to maintaining employment and independent living. The program provides a structured living environment, case management, vocational services, and referrals for psychiatric services which enable participants to achieve stability and practice the skills needed to live independently. For information on Transitions, please contact Bradley Spencer at or call ((917) 677-4460.


Man at Homeless Shelter

Chance for Change

At the NCS Chance for Change Medically Supervised Chemical Dependency Outpatient Program, located at The Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, we provide effective treatment for individuals who are faced with substance use issues. The program also helps these individuals manage other life areas such as mental illness, chronic medical conditions, homelessness, unemployment and other life stressors. Although addiction may include a chronic relapsing condition, we believe change and positive growth are possible. Our clinic staff are trained chemical dependency clinicians and mental health professionals who utilize evidence-based practices to assist clients to realize their full potential and work toward healthy change through recovery. Our holistic, trauma informed and harm reduction approaches connect with each individual’s desire to change in a collaborative, respectful and empathic environment.

Chance for Change currently serves about 34 clients a month referred through other NCS programs, homeless shelters, hospitals, homeless street outreach agencies, detox and rehab centers and other neighborhood partners. Our outcomes include a 75% reduction rate of substance use and a significant rise in the rate of clients obtaining and maintaining adequate housing. We have been expanding services and, in addition to individual therapy, offer 10 weekly group sessions addressing addiction, mental illness, trauma, relationships, anger management, relapse prevention and more. Chance for Change participants also have access to other NCS programs, including housing and vocational services. We pride ourselves on being able to foster a community clubhouse environment so that the participants feel welcomed and part of a positive endeavor. For information and referrals, contact Deborah Ellis at or call (917) 677-0723.


NCS's vocational, educational and job-training program is available to all NCS clients as well as members of the East Side Homeless Network. OPTIONS is designed to meet the needs of individuals with histories of substance abuse, mental illness or both. The program focuses on developing participants' economic and educational opportunities leading to employability and increased self-sufficiency. A variety of pre-employment and educational support is available, such as literacy tutoring, GED preparation, resume-writing workshops, individual and group vocational counseling, work experience through paid internships, and job placement.

OPTIONS' ability to help clients is enhanced by a part-time Education Coordinator who provides in-depth educational assessments of NCS program participants. Her work has helped identify learning disabilities and the coping mechanisms clients use to mask them. The Coordinator works with clients' counselors to develop and implement individualized education plans that help them overcome barriers to employment.

In the last year (April 2012 to April 2013) , OPTIONS provided services to 120 homeless and formerly homeless individuals and young adults, 36 of whom secured permanent employment, while 115 received individual Vocational Rehabilitation Services. NCS takes great pride in its job placement and retention rates-a tremendous success when working with chronically homeless individuals, who face extensive barriers to employment. In addition to individual counseling sessions, OPTIONS also provides computer classes, on-site skills training programs, employment readiness workshops, a variety of assessments, job coaching, individual tutoring and an array of educational classes. For information on OPTIONS educational and vocational training programs, please contact Robert Yancey: or call (917) 477-2470.


Along with direct service programming, NCS has a well integrated research agenda to study the characteristics of chronically homeless adults through clinical trials and assessment studies. Each strategy and program developed at NCS draws from research to ensure that programs are tailored to the distinct needs of our service population. We continue to better understand the needs of chronically homeless adults and remain committed to applying newfound knowledge to strengthening models of service. In addition, NCS shares its research findings with colleagues in New York City and nationally to advance knowledge in the field. In 2005, NCS published its first research study in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry. The findings of NCS's second study were published in 2008 in the Journal of Personality Disorders. Click here to read the first article. Click here to read the second article.

Woman and Man Arranging Flowers

Community Human Services Information and Referral Program


Our Community Human Services Information and Referral Program (CHIRP) provides information, referral and crisis intervention services to homeless men and women and those and at risk of homelessness at five free meal programs in Manhattan: Church of the Epiphany, Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York Common Pantry, and St. James' Church. Last year, CHIRP connected more than 600 homeless and at-risk New Yorkers with emergency and other needed human services. At these sites and elsewhere in the community, we distributed over 7,000 “Street Sheets,” our pocket-sized local resource directory. For more information on CHIRP, please contact Deborah Ellis at or (212) 537-5170.

Street Sheets

These pocket-sized sheets contain a wealth of valuable information from multi-service centers to meal services and everything in between. At CHIRP meal program sites and elsewhere in the community, we distributed over 7,000 “Street Sheets.” Click here for more information.


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