How We Work


The ESN is not a governmental agency. We operate in collaboration with New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) by providing additional beds (shelter) to homeless adult individuals. Our network is an alternative to the City-operated shelters.


The DHS contracts with a number of drop-in centers in the five boroughs. These drop-in centers allow homeless individuals to come in off the street and obtain various social services. Though two drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day and allow a limited number of guests to sleep in chairs, many men and women are assigned to shelter-site beds throughout the ESN.


Each evening, after a screening which includes a sobriety, health, and weapons check, individual men and women are transported to an ESN shelter. Though each shelter has its own set of regulations and offerings, our guests most often receive a meal and, of course, a safe place to sleep while also accessing the company of devoted volunteers. In the morning, a snack or breakfast is offered and return transportation is provided to the origin drop-in center.


It is the ESN’s belief that the personal attention, intimate setting (member shelters accomodate a maximum of 20 guests), and most importantly respect, give our guests a firm foundation to move out of homelessness, ESN’s ultimate goal. We look forward to the day when we will be out of business and the cruel problem of homelessness is solved.

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