I will become homeless within the next 21 days:

Am I connected to legal advocacy to understand my rights as a tenant?

Have I explored community-based resources to help?

Have I applied for one time assistance through DSS to help keep me housed?

Are there funds available through the EFSP program? (currently unavailable)

 

Other Problem Solving Considerations:

Can I temporarily stay with family or friends until I figure out my next step?

Can I temporarily pay for a motel until I figure out my next step?

Can I work out a payment plan with my landlord?

Can I relocate to another unit or area that is cheaper?

Short Video on Diversion and How It Works

Emergency Homeless Prevention Programs:

All households will be directed to first explore other available options. Those with the greatest risk of becoming literal homeless will be assisted first. 

Nassau County: Nassau DSS, Nassau County Office of Community Development, Options for Community Living
 

Suffolk County: Suffolk DSS, HELP USA
 

Town of Brookhaven: Suffolk DSS, Family Service League, EOC of Suffolk, Federation of Organizations
 

Town of Islip: Suffolk DSS, Family Service League

SSVF programs are available for all Veterans at-risk of homelessness in Suffolk County (EOC of Suffolk) or Nassau County (SUS).

Other agencies such as faith-based partners like St. Vincent de Paule, or the United Way, or agencies that receive Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, or have other private funding may also be able to help prevent eviction.

Eligibility for homeless prevention:

  • Must have a household income of 30% area median income, or less

  • Is facing imminent eviction within 21 days

  • Has no other resources (financial and support systems) to not become homeless

  • Households must be able to stay in current unit if rent arrears are paid, or household has identified a new unit to move to, where there is a plan to pay ongoing rent once in that unit

  • Households that are actively fleeing domestic violence are also eligible

Eviction does not equal homelessness. Less than 1 in 10 households that face eviction become homeless as a result. The households must likely to be evicted are those that have experienced homelessness in the past. 

EVICTION DOES NOT EQUAL HOMELESSNESS.

 

IN FACT, ONLY ABOUT 1 IN EVERY 10 EVICTIONS RESULTS IN SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY LIVING ON THE STREET OR IN SHETLER. PLEASE EXPLORE ALL OPTIONS AND RESOURCES BEFORE ENTERING SHETLER AS A LAST RESORT. EMERGENCY SHORT-TERM SHELTER THROUGH DSS IS A SAFETY NET RESOURCE ONLY FOR THOSE WITH NO ALTERNATIVES. THERE ARE SHELTER REGULATIONS THAT CAN MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO EXIT SHELTER ONCE YOU ENTER, SUCH AS SHELTER PAYMENTS THAT CAN BE FOR MORE THAN 50% OF YOUR TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME. PEOPLE ON LONG ISLAND EXPERIENCE HOMELESS, ON AVERAGE, MUCH LONGER THAN PEOPLE IN OTHER AREAS BECAUSE OF LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, IN A HIGH COST AREA WITH LOW RENTAL HOUSING INVENTORY.

Accessing Emergency Shelter as a Last Resort:

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On Long Island, there are approximately 130 year-round shelters for adults and families (about 85 in Suffolk and about 45 in Nassau), all of which, require that households apply for emergency housing through the local Department of Social Services. There are few exceptions to this for unaccompanied youth, victims of domestic violence, and Veterans that, if VA-eligible, can access shelter through the VA.

 

General year-round shelter eligibility (DSS/NYS):

Someone must have nowhere else to go (if you can stay with family or friends, or have the finances to temporarily pay for housing in a motel or other interim housing, you may not be deemed eligible)

You must provide personal information and must have a social security number. This could include things like full name, date of birth, social security number, information of all household members, and other information. Single adults that do not have a social security number are not eligible for year-round shelter.

If someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will not be admitted into shelter. 

In order to access shelter, you must go to a DSS site and apply during daytime hours. If you access shelter at night, through the emergency hotline, you will need to go to a DSS site the following morning to fill out paperwork.

If approved, placements are based on where beds are available, which may not be within the town/area you are currently living.

As per NYS, households residing in shelter pay a portion of their income for their shelter stay. This can be more than 50% of household income.  

There are requirements at the time of eligibility review for shelter, for reporting all income and assets (in order to determine eligibility). Each shelter will have their own rules to safely manage the site, including an enforced curfew. 

CODE BLUE- During the winter months and on days where the temperature is below freezing, as per New York State, all people living outside with nowhere else to go should be placed in shelter, including those not typically eligible for shelter. 

DSS/OTDA Shelter Regulations: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/shelter/regulations.asp