New York City Center for Urban Community Services.

Families facing imminent eviction and the homeless are some of the main individuals that contact the Center for Urban Community Services. The non-profit assist clients with locating permanent housing and getting off the street. They can also provide limited amounts of other social services and support.

The demand for any type of housing assistance is very high. So the agency needs to prioritize its resources. Residents that are most vulnerable due to medical issues, disabilities or mental health concerns and that have been homeless for the longest period get priority.

The programs they offer can even find housing and apartments for clients who were previously considered not house able. They do this by utilizing Safe Havens and Stabilization Beds, among other resources. This is offered as a form of transitional or temporary housing to those New York City residents that qualify. Outreach teams also work directly with clients.

Referral Assistance Programs are available across the city. Housing consultants and specialists provide telephone consultation and advice to people behind on their rent, social workers, advocates, family members, and even homeless people themselves.

While the focus may be on housing needs, other social services offered are as follows.

  • Homeless prevention is provided by Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS). They offer emergency assistance to keep people housed.
  • Employment assistance is available from the CUCS Career Network. Staff will try to help tenants find employment and strive towards long term self-sufficiency.
  • Home to Stay is available in the form of housing placement and support services for homeless families.
  • The non-profit provides supportive services for months as a form of post-housing placement. The objective is to help prevent the family from returning to homelessness over the mid to long term.
  • Homeless veterans can receive assistance. They may access programs such as Home to Stay (above) or other resources.




Permanent housing is available in cooperation with several partner organizations and facilities. Examples of them are below.

Common Ground, Broadway Housing and Fifth Avenue Committee provide living arrangement to individuals and their families across New York City and the boroughs. Those who use the facilities will also be provided support services and case managers from Center for Urban Community Services. They work to help clients pay the rent on time, remain stably housed and to also work toward long-term goals.

Those that are mentally disabled can get help in finding an apartment and enrolling into on-going supportive services. Staff from CUCS coordinate services with each individual’s Health Home Care Manager. The participants of these various housing programs will be integrated into the Scattered Site Apartment Program and staff carry a mixed caseload from all three components of the program.

Transitional services are offered by Center for Urban Community Services. The organization will prepare homeless individuals for permanent housing through two Living Communities (TLCs). This includes apartments and extended stay residences.

Crotona Park East is a regional extended stay residence. It can provide housing for people with a mental illness who have been in institutional settings and social workers will also help them acquire the skills to move into more independent housing.

Staff will help clients access public benefits and provide referrals. The non-profit provides access to public government benefits & referrals through Community Based Single Stops as well as SPOA Care Coordination.

The Community Based Single Stops are walk-in service centers that are located across New York City, including in Harlem and the Bronx. Social workers at the centers help clients by bridging the information gap separating poor and low-income families from accessing life-changing tax credits, public benefits, nutrition programs and other essential services.





Many low-income individuals and families, including veterans and senior citizens, use the assistance available at the Single Stop locations. The locations are available to any individual or family in need of housing or other financial assistance. Examples of what may be provided are below.

  • Legal assistance and representation. This is free or low cost legal counseling covering a wide range of civil problems including evictions, housing, immigration, family, and employment issues.
  • Financial counseling includes savings for the future, assistance with debt reduction, budgeting, identity theft, and credit education.
  • Diaper assistance is available. Those that qualify can receive free one time supply of diapers for children under the age of 4.
  • Government benefits. Work with a staff member from Center for Urban Community Services on applying for public benefits. They can help with SSI/SSD, Food Stamp and Medicaid enrollment, Unemployment, SCRIE/DRIE, Medicare Savings Program and others.
  • Income tax preparation and filing. Also get referrals to IRS certified free tax preparation locations in New York City.
  • Access the Jobs Journal, which is a bi-weekly listing of job openings.
  • Reentry from Incarceration services are offered for formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City. The agency will help them transition back into housing and also offer them other supportive services.

There are several One Stop centers in the city. The main locations are below.

East Harlem, 198 East 121st Street, 5th floor, NY, NY 10035, Phone: 212-801-3300
Bronx-Crotona Park, 1510 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460, 347-833-4914 or 4917
Brooklyn- VA Campus, 300 Poly Place, 5 West - Room 310, Brooklyn, NY 11209, telephone
Central Harlem, 521 West 126th Street, Bsmt of St. Mary’s Church, NY, NY 10027,
Bronx- Workforce 1, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458, telephone 718-960-2457

The Career Network helps people with multiple barriers to employment find and keep competitive employment. The career opportunity will be based on their skills and interests. This will help residents gain a life sustaining wage and lead to self-sufficiency.

What may be offered includes employment assessment, Job placement, Transition from public benefits, Employment counseling, workshops, Job coaching, Career advancement, and job development.




Scholarships may be offered, though they are very limited. They can be provided to disadvantaged youth so that they can attend college with the support necessary to achieve academic success. The formal name of the program is George Brager, and it is available only as the result of generous donations. It is an option for students who have expressed an interest in advanced education and of course that have demonstrated ability in school.

Other education services can include Referral to PSAT and SAT preparation, College Preparation workshops, career development, and details on individual academic counseling and financial aid. In some cases a cash grant may be provided by CUCS to help with some college expenses. Also, a Case Manager will work with the student to develop and implement an education/career-focused service plan.

The main office of Center for Urban Community Services is at 198 E. 21st Street, New York, NY, 10035. Call (212) 801-3300, or stop by a center indicated above.


By Jon McNamara

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