Emergency Essentials Drive

Family homelessness in NYC is rapidly rising—we need your help now.

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As the homelessness crisis in New York City continues to escalate, VOA-Greater New York is experiencing an unexpected surge of individuals and families arriving at our shelters and supportive housing programs with an urgent need for basic, everyday items.

Many are asylum-seeking families who have endured an exhausting and traumatic journey cross-country on a bus, carrying with them little more than the clothes on their backs. Others have experienced street homelessness for years, right in our own backyard.

This is not just about homelessness: it’s a humanitarian crisis. Everyone deserves a roof over their head—a place to feel safe and warm, a place to start fresh and live with dignity.

But these men, women and children are coming to us with next to nothing. Not only are they relying on VOA-Greater New York for housing, but also for the basic necessities that most of us are fortunate enough to take for granted—simple comforts like fresh bedding, clean clothes, towels and non-perishable food items.

We’re already seeing an increase in the number of children in NYC shelters who need school supplies through Operation Backpack®. Now we need your help providing other essentials to the individuals and families arriving at our programs. The need is urgent, and we only expect it to grow in the coming weeks.

How You Can Help Now

  • DONATE here and we'll purchase what's needed most
  • SET UP a fundraising team and raise money among your network
  • HOLD A DRIVE with family, friends, your church or office to collect physical items. Email volunteers@voa-gny.org to learn more.

DONATE

  • Your gift of $20

    can buy toiletries for one person

  • Your gift of $50

    can purchase bedding and towels for one person

  • Your gift of $150

    can stock a family's pantry with food

  • Your gift of $600

    can buy all the essentials for a family of four

Collection Drive

Email volunteers@voa-gny.org to learn more about hosting a collection drive at your church, office or in your neighborhood. The following items are needed most:

  • Toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, shaving kit, deodorant, soap, brush, comb
  • Bedding including twin sheet sets, blankets/comforters
  • Plastic mattress covers - twin size
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Laundry bags and detergent
  • Nonperishable food
  • Pet supplies including water and food bowls, collar and leashes, litter and litter boxes, food, treats, toys and carriers
  • Kitchen items including dishes, cups, mugs, cutlery and basic utensils
  • Mens clothing - new or gently used

Additional Items


We are in need of microwaves to accommodate those whose cooking skills are limited. If you have a clean, working microwave that you wish to donate, please email volunteers@voa-gny.org.

Donations of puzzle books, toys, novels and used TVs would also be helpful to give individuals and families, including children, activities with which to pass the time as they settle into their new home.

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