For Sarah: Volunteer Opportunities in NYC Related to Homelessness and Permanent Supportive Housing

May 11, 2015 - 4 minutes read

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for checking back in. In response to your sharing the New York Times Op-Ed piece (Homeless in New York City, an Unending Crisis), I started reaching to respected non-profit organizations in New York City that work in the area of ending chronic homelessness and family homelessness with an emphasis on permanent supportive housing.

  1. Common Ground. Common Ground is one of the leading organizations in the ‘housing first’ movement in NYC and was founded back in 1990.   They operate about 16 permanent supportive housing and transitional buildings in the city and supportive some of the most vulnerable populations in NYC. Because of the breadth of services they provide they have a range of needs.  I called Michelle LeNoach, volunteer coordinator, this morning who confirmed that they are accepting new volunteers to help with (a) event [serving meals, registration tables, setup/breakdown, and generally interacting with clients], (b) administrative tasks [filing, phone calls], (c) building improvement [painting, light rehab] and (d) a young professionals committee[promoting awareness, volunteering, light fundraising]. If there are more specific tasks or roles you are looking for she recommend filling out the volunteer interest inquiry form here.
  2. Coalition for the Homeless. If you’re looking for volunteering that leans more on the advocacy side,opportunities the Coalition for the Homeless might also be a good place to start. They are leading the charge to end homelessness not only by promoting awareness about the causes and solutions, but actually pushing for changes in law and policy that improve the quality of life for the homeless and precariously housed in NYC. I’m trying to get a hold of their advocacy director to find out specifically, what kind of help they need. I will let you know as soon as I hear back.
  3. Back-On-My-Feet. A nationwide organization that uses running to support those who are homeless or transitioning from homeless. This might be a good match, if you’re looking for something active to do early in the morning before work. In NYC, they do a 2-4 mile run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30-6:30am. For more info, you can check out there site here:


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I thought it might be a good place to start. If you have more specific goals or interest let me know. The more info, the easier it is to come up with a better match. Please let me know if this is helpful or not. Our goal is to connect folks with service and social impact leadership opportunities. We want to help bridge the gap between people who want to serve and the organizations that need their support. I’d really love to get your feedback, so if you have a few minutes please feel free to email me at or give me a call at 202.709.7294 with your thoughts and impressions.



Olivier Kamanda