We were so excited to officially break ground on the new Covenant House New York on September 19! We hosted an incredible, star-studded ceremony at the construction site, which is also our current shelter location on 41st street and 10th avenue. Guests included CBS News’ John Dickerson, Broadway star Audra McDonald, several prominent government officials and community members, and former Covenant House youth who spoke powerfully to CHNY’s importance in providing a safe place for young people experiencing homelessness.
Covenant House International’s president, Kevin Ryan, summed up the purpose of our new building by explaining that “the new Covenant House New York will put housing support, shelter, health care, educational services, job training, and civil legal services under one roof… It will be a place where young people overcoming homelessness and human trafficking in New York City can come to build their new lives.”
Sister Nancy Downing, Executive Director for Covenant House New York, spoke to how far we’ve come as an organization and how excited we are to look toward the future: “For over four decades, young people overcoming homelessness in New York City have found safety and shelter from the streets at Covenant House,” she said. “Now, for the first time in our history, we are designing a new residential facility to address all of the specific needs of our youth, allowing us to provide robust services and coordinated care, expanding the scope of our work and the number of young people that we can serve.”
Also in attendance were several donors who have made the campaign to build a new Covenant House New York possible — including Strauss Zelnick and his wife, Wendy Belzberg. We are so grateful to the generosity of the donors that have helped us on our endeavor to raise $128 million for a purpose-built, all-inclusive shelter for young people to call home.
We’re so grateful to everyone who celebrated with us on this momentous occasion and to all the staff who made an event like this possible. We could not have pulled off such a successful groundbreaking ceremony — and lighting up the Empire State Building (casual!) — without such dedicated members of the Covenant House Community. Thanks for joining us in our mission to end youth homelessness!