Homeward NYC is poised for growth as we continue to provide housing with supportive services that empower homeless youth, families and older adults to live life forward.
Homeward NYC began in 1989 with one of the first mixed-age residences in New York State, a converted Upper West Side building that is transitional housing for homeless young mothers and their children, and long-term affordable housing for low-income and homeless older adults.
Our organization name, West End Intergenerational Residence HDFC, reflected the building’s address on West End Avenue.
Longtime Intergenerational Residence volunteer Lisa Barbaris introduced our work to her client, Grammy-award winning artist and LGBTQ advocate Cyndi Lauper. We recognized a growing need—like the young mothers at our Upper West Side site, LGBTQ youth start young adulthood having experienced gender-based physical and emotional abuse. We adapted our trauma-centered care model to create a first of its kind LGBTQ young adult supportive housing site.
In 2011, with friend and development partner Cyndi Lauper, we opened True Colors Residence in West Harlem, named for the artist’s song “True Colors.” In 2015 we opened a second location, True Colors Bronx. We organized the agency under the name West End Residences but recognized the name did not reflect our unified commitment to serving New York City’s most vulnerable homeless individuals and families.
In 2020, we became Homeward NYC. At each of our housing sites, we offer support services that include case management, counseling, referrals, community-building activities and life skills programs. We tailor our life skills for the communities served, offering the Women’s Empowerment Program for young mothers and the True Colors Empowerment Program for LGBTQ young adults.