Gateway Housing continues to expand its activities in 2019. We continue to work with our nonprofit and government partners to develop and redevelop high quality nonprofit-owned and operated shelters. And we remain committed to piloting and evaluating innovative new transitional programs, like our Improving School Attendance for Homeless Children (ISAHC) initiative. And this year, we will publish reports and best practices policy briefs on what’s working in New York City’s shelters.
Gateway’s mission is to improve the city’s shelter system by supporting and replicating high-quality shelters. But there is currently very little research about which programs and services in transitional housing are most effective.
We’re going to change that, by documenting what makes high-quality shelter programs effective, and showing how a good transitional program can impact the people it serves.
The fact is, that for the foreseeable future, a significant number of people will have housing emergencies in New York City and other high-cost cities.They will need shelter and, unfortunately, they will likely stay a long time – right now, the average length of stay in NYC shelter is 400 days for single adults, 438 days for families with children and a whopping 561 days for adult families (families with no minor children). And there is no silver bullet for high cost markets like New York City’s: development of new housing is slow; rental vouchers chase too few apartments; and rapid rehousing strategies are extremely difficult to scale.
So, even as we continue to advocate for these and other housing-based solutions to homelessness, we will also research what helps people most when they become homeless, what keeps people stay stably housed after shelter, and what helps improve other outcomes, both in shelter and after shelter. We’ll use data to see which programs are showing results, and we’ll document promising existing programs.
We hope you’ll find this information helpful, and will join us in the conversation about the most effective ways to help New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.