Our Mission


The Emergency Shelter Network of Faith-Based and Community Organizations, Inc. is a New York not-for-profit corporation devoted to aiding, supporting and representing its members: a coalition of homeless shelters, operated primarily by volunteers, serving homeless adult individuals throughout the five boroughs of New York City.


In January of 1983, then Mayor Ed Koch, in a speech given at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, implored the faith-based community to help with the problem of the growing numbers of homeless in the city. Several congregations responded and a network of volunteer-run shelters was born.


In 2008 this network of shelters formalized their common cause and became known as the Emergency Shelter Network (ESN). In 2013, after thirty years of providing shelter and assistance to the homeless, the ESN was established as a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to serving its members and their mission to provide shelter, assistance, and support to their homeless guests.


The ESN’s organizational mission encompasses four main areas:


SERVICE: Aids and supports member shelters with operational issues.


REPRESENTATION: Represents all of the member shelters in its network.


FUND RAISING: Provides funding to offset member shelter expenditures.


ADVOCACY: Advocates on issues specific to its members as well as on behalf of the homeless guests served by the network.

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