Street to Home

Breaking Ground is responsible for street outreach in all of Brooklyn and Queens, and nearly 1/3 of Manhattan

Founded on the premise that housing is the essential first step to addressing the complex issues faced by chronically homeless individuals, Street to Home is a systematic method of identifying and prioritizing for housing those who have been outdoors the longest and who have the highest risk of premature death on the streets.

The chronically homeless are sometimes referred to as “hard to house” due to their non-responsiveness to traditional outreach efforts (e.g., offers of a night in the shelter or a warm meal) and the challenges to stability posed by severe and persistent mental illness, chronic health conditions and alcohol and substance abuse.

By taking the time to gain the trust of chronically homeless individuals gradually over time, and offering housing without conditions (e.g., sobriety), Street to Home demonstrates that these individuals do want a home and can successfully secure and maintain permanent housing.

The Street to Home model was pioneered by Breaking Ground in 2004 and adopted by the NYC Department of Homeless Services as a citywide strategy in 2007. Through our Street to Home program, Breaking Ground makes contact with an average of 1,500 street homeless individuals and connects more than 350 individuals to housing, medical and mental health services, substance abuse counseling, and other essential supports each year. The caring, individually tailored attention clients receive at each stage of their journey from street to home ensures that more than 90% of people who Breaking Ground places remain stably housed.

Breaking Ground and its partners are responsible for covering the entire boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and nearly one-third of Manhattan.

Our outreach and housing placement partners:

  • Center for Urban Community Services
  • Goddard Riverside