A Message from our President & CEO

In 2023, Services for the UnderServed (S:US) provided safe homes and essential support services to over 37,000 New Yorkers, including people who have experienced homelessness, people with mental health and substance use challenges, and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. We are grateful to all of our stakeholders — our staff, Board members, individual donors, government, foundation, and corporate funders, and volunteers for helping us positively impact the lives of so many people this year.

New York is currently facing unprecedented and simultaneous housing, cost-of-living, and mental health crises. S:US is uniquely positioned to respond to these crises and provide stability and support to people who are most in need.

To address these challenges, S:US continues to provide life-changing services to the most marginalized members of our communities while focusing on expanding our supportive housing network, our food security programs, and our initiatives to treat and prevent opioid use. The following Impact Report shows just some of what S:US has been able to accomplish this year.

Thank you so much to our dedicated community of supporters for helping make this work possible.

Perry Perlmutter

New & Notable

In response to the growing need for our services, S:US has expanded many of our existing programs and launched new initiatives. Below is a snapshot of some of our most important new projects this year.

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S:US has continued to develop and build new supportive and affordable housing to address the housing crisis in New York City. This year, we opened the doors to our beautiful new Melrose North housing development, which has 171 apartments, including 103 set aside for homeless households  who have faced domestic violence or live with mental health or substance use challenges. We also have over 1,900 supportive and affordable apartments currently under construction or in the planning stages in multiple sites in The Bronx and Brooklyn. In 2025, the first buildings in our Starhill complex in The Bronx and in our Alafia complex in Brooklyn will be open to tenants.

S:US has prioritized expanding our food security and Urban Farms programs over the past year. Our Community Fridge program will have four locations by the end of 2023 and provides healthy produce and pantry staples to people served by S:US as well as low-income New Yorkers from surrounding neighborhoods. Similarly, we piloted our healthy tote delivery program, which provided 2,128 lbs of food (the equivalent of more than 1,770 meals) to families at S:US supportive housing during school breaks when they are more likely to experience food insecurity. Both of these programs are operated by volunteers from our Day Habilitation programs for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. We also held our first youth summer day camp, which provided a week of environmental learning programs for youth in our supportive housing and family shelters.

This summer, S:US opened New York City’s first public health vending machine, in partnership with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The vending machine is free and anonymous to use and open 24/7 outside of one of S:US’ supportive housing locations in Brooklyn. It stocks a variety of health and wellness supplies, including naloxone (a drug that can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose), personal hygiene kits, and safer sex kits. The program is designed to help reduce New York City’s current overdose crisis, with rates of overdose-related deaths at historic highs.

As part of our efforts to better meet the needs of our community, S:US has put into place formal initiatives to support LGBTQ+ staff and people served. This has included hiring a full-time LGBTQ+ initiatives coordinator, who is working across all areas of S:US programs to help create an affirming environment that supports and celebrates LGBTQ+ individuals. S:US’ clinics providing substance support are now certified as LGBTQ+ affirming by New York State, and new staff across all our programs now receive LGBTQ+ cultural humility training during their staff orientations. We have also hosted pride celebrations and LGBTQ+ educational events across the organization and marched for the first time in New York City’s Pride parade.

Supportive and Affordable Housing

Providing Safe Homes for the Most Vulnerable New Yorkers

This year, S:US provided 2,310 units of supportive housing for low-income New Yorkers with histories of homelessness, serious mental health challenges, or substance use disorders. In our supportive housing, residents benefit from the combination of safe, affordable homes and on-site support services. Staff check in on residents regularly and provide counseling, assist them with daily living skills as needed, and help them access medical care and other essential services.

Supportive and Affordable Housing Highlights

Maintaining Stable Housing

For individuals with significant mental health needs or substance use disorders, it can be challenging to maintain stable housing. For residents of our supportive housing, over 97% of individuals remained in their homes year over year.

Supporting Individuals and Families

This year, S:US served 2,762 individuals in our supportive housing programs, including adults with histories of homelessness, mental health challenges and substance use disorders, as well as their partners and children.

Homeless Services

Offering Shelter and Support to People Facing Homelessness

In 2023, S:US provided shelter and essential supports to thousands of New Yorkers experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Through our shelters, we provided a safe place to stay for individuals and families, including for survivors of domestic violence and people living with mental health challenges. We also served people at risk of homelessness through our eviction prevention programs and supported those we serve as they transitioned from living in shelters to long-term homes.

Homeless Services Highlights

Preventing Homelessness

We helped 2,250 households at risk of eviction avoid homelessness. We also added mental health and substance use treatment services to our homelessness prevention programs.

Helping Families Find New Homes

S:US helped 185 households, both individuals and families with children, leave shelters and find new homes, successfully ending their battle with homelessness.

Behavioral Health Recovery and Treatment

Assisting People with Mental Health Challenges and Substance Use Disorders

This year, S:US provided treatment and support to 4,200 people who have faced mental health challenges and substance use disorders. Those served were the most marginalized New Yorkers, including people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and those who have been involved with the criminal justice system. Our recovery and treatment programs provide services through clinics, in residential settings, and through outreach in the local community.

Behavioral Health Recovery and Treatment Highlights

Expanding Peer Support

S:US expanded our Clubhouse program, which provides people living with mental health challenges with social support and assistance in finding new jobs. Our Brooklyn Clubhouse now serves an average of 200 New Yorkers a month.

Reaching People on the Streets

Our street outreach team conducted over 2,200 instances of outreach to those living on the streets and in the subway. They helped connect people served with mental and substance use treatments and assisted them in finding stable housing.

Veterans Services

Helping Vulnerable Veterans and Their Families Find Stability

This year, S:US served 3,000 New York City and Long Island veterans and their families. The veterans we serve are all low-income, and most live with mental and physical health challenges or substance use disorders. S:US offers veterans long-term housing, assistance in maintaining housing for those at risk of eviction, and support in finding new jobs and accessing healthcare and other essential services.

Veterans Services Highlights

Transitioning Veterans from Hotels to Homes

S:US assisted over 92% of the veteran families residing in our temporary shelter hotels in moving to their own apartments.

Preventing Homelessness

S:US helped 213 very low-income veterans at risk of eviction find new homes and prevented homelessness for an additional 126 veterans.

Developmental Disabilities Services

Providing Community and Independence to People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

This year, S:US provided homes and support services to 750 people living with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). We served those who live in S:US housing, as well as people who live in the community and attend our Day Programs. Our programs for people with I/DD focus on helping people live to their fullest potential and reach their personal goals through offering opportunities to learn independent living skills and make new friends.

Developmental Disabilities Services Highlights

Offering Opportunities for Enrichment

S:US offered many new opportunities for people with I/DD to have fun and get involved with the community. This included volunteering at our community fridges and lending libraries, as well as adaptive ice skating and roller skating.

Helping People live Independently

We provided residential services to 322 people with I/DD, offering safe homes and personalized support to each resident. S:US staff helped each resident access any medical or psychological services they needed, while helping them develop life skills and achieve their personal goals.

Community Food Security

Building Healthier Communities through Nutrition and Urban Farming

Our food security programs operate urban farms and gardens at 75 S:US sites and also run food access initiatives for people experiencing food insecurity. This year, 780 people participated in Urban Farms programing, which provides access to fresh food and greenspace, as well as nutritional education programs and employment opportunities.  Through our food access initiatives, S:US served people who participate in our range of programs, as well as members of the surrounding communities and S:US staff members.

Community Food Security Highlights

Growing Healthy Food

This past year, S:US’ Urban Farms grew 10,200 lbs of produce, or the equivalent of 8,500 meals, and employed 23 people as Urban Farmers. Our Urban Farmers are all people served by S:US, who take a leadership role in running our Urban Farms and Gardens while making an income.

Providing Meals

We served over 2 million meals across our range of programs this year. Additionally, S:US is working to improve the nutritional content of the food served through our programs and provide more options for participants to eat fresh produce and other whole foods.

Thank You!

We are grateful to our individual, corporate, and foundation supporters for helping to make 2023 such an impactful year. To help S:US continue our vital mission in 2024, please make a gift today!

Corporate Partners

S:US’ new Corporate Partners Program has launched. To learn more about how your company can become a Corporate Partner, click here.

We are grateful to our current Corporate Partners for their support:

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