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Founded in 1972, the Urban Family Center was the country’s first apartment-style temporary shelter with on-site social services for homeless families with children. Funded by the New York City Department of Homeless Services and located in a six-story walk-up building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Center houses eighty-two homeless families in separate apartments, and provides them access to a comprehensive array of social services.

Read more: 50 Years of Caring for Our Community »

The Department of Homeless Services refers only families with children to the Urban Family Center, and the family must be either already on public assistance or eligible to apply for public assistance.

Urban Family Center’s services and programs:

  • A live-in staff to provide assistance on evenings and weekends
  • Family case management
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Housing search assistance
  • Advocacy
  • Information and referral
  • Day care
  • Child care
  • On site employment assistance
  • School registration and attendance monitoring
  • Youth counseling
  • Cultural and educational trips
  • Afterschool programs
  • Family and youth recreation
  • Computer lab
  • Summer day camp
  • Aftercare services


In NYC, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) makes all decisions about shelter placement. If you’re a family experiencing domestic violence, please call Safe Horizon’s 24-hour hotline: 800.621.HOPE (4673). All families with children must apply at DHS’s Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) intake center in the Bronx. PATH is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Their phone number is 718.503.6400.

151 East 151st Street
Bronx, NY

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