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HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate)

Every January, thousands of volunteers across the five boroughs participate in NYC’s annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). Over a single night, volunteers canvass streets, subway stations, parks, and other public spaces across the city to identify individuals living unsheltered.

HOPE is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to receive funding under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Using a consistent sampling methodology since 2005 and decoys as a quality control measure, HOPE remains one of the most methodologically rigorous efforts nationwide to estimate the number of individuals who are experiencing street homelessness.

DHS employs a comprehensive, year-round outreach program, through which teams engage the street homeless population citywide 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outreach programs bring services directly to those in need, as well as alternatives to traditional shelters, such as safe havens and stabilization beds.

New Yorkers can contribute to DHS’ outreach efforts by calling 311 or using the 311 app to dispatch a team to the aid of someone living on the streets. Through continued outreach and engagement, DHS has already helped thousands of individuals move from the streets into housing, a victory for the City and the clients we serve.