Our vision is to end homelessness in the New York area by 2050 by providing housing, health and wealth-building services to our neighbors who are experiencing, or are at imminent risk of, homelessness.
Who We Are
Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-Greater New York) is an anti-poverty organization with a rich 125-year history of serving our neighbors in need.
Our vision is fueled by our experience as a leading provider of services to families and individuals experiencing homelessness in the greater New York area. Through 66 programs located in New York City, Northern New Jersey, and Westchester County—including emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing—we deliver services to more than 11,000 adults and children annually. We are also the largest provider of residential services for veterans within a coalition that has virtually ended chronic homelessness for veterans in New York City.
We know that the most prevalent causes of homelessness are:
- lack of affordable housing
- unmet health needs
- lack of jobs that create wealth-generating careers
More broadly, structural racism and generational poverty are to blame for many of the longstanding barriers to independent living that our neighbors in need face every day. This is why VOA-Greater New York is at the forefront of developing innovative housing, health, and wealth-building services for families and individuals experiencing, or at imminent risk of, homelessness.
Through this work, we are not only addressing the immediate needs of our community, we are also laboring toward systemic change. Public policy and partnerships—including those between the public, private and nonprofit sectors—are both crucial to advancement in this area.
The people we serve confront longstanding barriers to accessing quality housing, healthcare and employment every day. Whether children with developmental delays, seniors, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, at-risk youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, or people with behavioral health or substance use-related needs, VOA-Greater New York staff are here to ensure that our clients never have to face those barriers alone.
Founded in New York City
On March 8, 1896 in front of a standing-room-only crowd inside the Great Hall of Cooper Union, social reformers Maud and Ballington Booth announced the birth of a new organization dedicated to what we now call human services.
More than a century later, the work of Volunteers of America has expanded to 46 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and has remained true to its original purpose of providing help to those who need it most.
Today, the national headquarters are located in Alexandria, Virginia. VOA-Greater New York is a local affiliate of Volunteers of America (VOA).
ABOUT OUR NAME
When Volunteers of America was founded, a "volunteer" was someone whose vocation was to serve others through a commitment to a mission. Today, we are still staffed by mission-driven professionals working to support individuals and build thriving communities, only now we call them “employees.”