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Our Community Outreach and Drop-In Services ensure that schools, community centers, churches, and other community-based providers know about our mission and services so we can continue to engage youth who are experiencing homelessness. Youth who come to our door and seek assistance are not turned away for any reason, and we operate under an open intake policy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In the event that we do not have a bed available for a young person, we work with and refer young people to other community partners who provide emergency housing to ensure that no young person has to spend a night on the streets.
Our Youth Development programming emphasizes a young person’s existing strengths, builds capacity for resilience, and provides opportunities to develop healthy self-determination. We create programming, trips and events that reinforce life skills, address physical and mental health, financial literacy, and more, through a wide variety of activities. Youth Development programming is designed to remove social and economic barriers, and offer opportunities for growth in a non-judgmental environment. It is our goal to foster in our youth lifelong habits of healthy eating, physical activity, and promote physical and human development in a multitude of areas. Click here to view our Wellness Policy.
CovWorks is our workforce development and educational support program, that now also includes vocational training and Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based practice that increases positive employment and mental health outcomes among vulnerable youth. For 25 years, CovWorks has prepared at-risk and homeless young people the opportunity to obtain and maintain employment, improve and advance their education, and pursue sustainable career paths with livable wages. In addition to vocational programming, CovWorks partners with businesses across New York City, establishing relationships that will ensure that young people are able to obtain employment in various sectors and with various backgrounds and work history.
Covenant House New York operates an Anti-Human Trafficking safe house called the Aspire Program. Aspire provides emergency shelter and other vital services to young women with a history of human and/or sex trafficking. Dedicated social workers and case managers work with each young woman to ensure that she is not only safe from the dangers of the street, but able to recover and build a life of independence.
We provide direct Legal Services to our young people through in-house attorneys and referrals to outside service providers. Coordinating closely with Covenant House staff, we identify potential legal issues and work with young people to address them every step of the way. In addition, we regularly present a comprehensive series of detailed “Know Your Rights” workshops for young people and policy workshops for staff so they are better able to identify potential legal issues facing our young people.
Our advocacy team at CHNY works to craft a comprehensive agenda that proposes solutions for addressing issues that adversely affect homeless, exploited and trafficked youth. Examples include: increasing funding for homeless youth and mental health services; proposing and influencing anti-trafficking policies and initiatives; partnering with government agencies to develop strategies and policies for serving youth, and more.