A Message from Our CEO

October 11, 2022

Jeannette Ruffins, CEO, Homeward NYCNew York City is one of three municipalities in the country where individuals have a right to shelter. We are also a sanctuary city, meaning New York City limits the use of local resources and legal systems to enforce national immigration laws.

Being a sanctuary city with the “right to shelter” is both an honor and a challenge. It reflects our city’s highest ideals about basic human dignity. It also highlights the need for expanded support for nonprofits in the human services sector.

Our Upper West Side site is long-term, affordable housing for low-income and homeless seniors and transitional shelter for homeless young families. The typical mother we serve is 22 years old with a child aged 23 months.

Migrant and refugee mothers arrive eager to work but with greater difficulty getting settled. They need childcare to work—and are trying to access resources in an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar language. Many of our staff are bilingual, and staff have personally accompanied residents for needs ranging from legal services to grocery shopping.

Many of the young mothers we serve have troubled relationships with their families. Our Women’s Empowerment & Life Skills Program fosters emotional healing—and builds both parenting and life skills. These programs better position young mothers for healthier relationships, opening the door to a future where their families can be a resource.

Refugee families will lack the same social and familial supports. This is likely to extend their stay in shelter longer than our typical eight months.

Stay up to date on resident and staff stories by following us on social media @HomewardNYC and signing up for email news at www.homeward.nyc/updates.

Thank you for staying informed. Your giving, volunteerism and compassion are life-changing for homeless young mothers, children, LGBTQ youth, and seniors. Thanks again!

All the best,
Jeannette K. Ruffins
Chief Executive Officer
October 2022

Inside the Fall 2022 newsletter:

2022-10 Newsletter-Fall-2022