On the streets and in the subways, in bus terminals and business districts, and along the commuter rails of New York City, Westchester and Long Island, you'll find BRC Homeless Outreach workers. BRC is there around the clock, motivating homeless individuals sleeping in public spaces to take a step toward reclaiming their lives. Outreach offers a hand-up, not hand-out, and every day men and women who once lived in a public space accept our outstretched hand and take a step inside. BRC also trains volunteers who commit to a regular schedule, to work side-by-side with our outreach teams. 2,200 times in 2012, our outreach teams assisted individuals to appropriate shelter. And many of the places homeless people choose to go are at BRC.

At any hour of the day or night, the Chemical Dependency Crisis Center welcomes both those in need of residential detoxification from drugs and alcohol, and those in imminent risk of relapse. Licensed by New York State's Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Crisis Center's 24-beds for men and women operate with 24-hour nursing supervision. Unlike hospitals, the Crisis Center does not require insurance; the only thing required is the desire to be sober. In 2012, the Crisis Center served 1,782 individuals, and more than half continued on with further treatment after discharge. The Crisis Center also is home to the Medical Respite Program, which BRC operates jointly with Saint Vincent's Hospital, providing easy access to health care for individuals with serious medical needs that do not require hospitalization.

Adhering to a philosophy of harm reduction, and with the objective of making it easy for a homeless person to access services, the BRC Safe Havens (on the Bowery and in Washington Heights), and The Moving Home Initiative (located in the Bronx), provide a safe and welcoming environment for chronically homeless adults who have been living on the street and subways. Here, assistance in obtaining housing and employment is available, and health, mental health, and substance abuse services are offered, but not mandated. Beds, showers, clean clothes, and our own cooked meals are provided in a safe and supportive environment, making these BRC programs a welcome alternative to a municipal homeless shelter. In FY2012, these three harm reduction programs combined helped 81 chronically homeless men and women move from sleeping in public spaces to living in their own homes.

Over one in six individuals incarcerated in America is living with mental illness. BRC's Service Planning and Assistance Network (SPAN), with offices in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, offers individuals recently released from jail and prison - and in particular those who have mental health needs - access to the housing and services they need to lead healthier and more productive lives, with the objective of preventing further interaction with the criminal justice system. In FY2012, 1,819 individuals obtained assistance from BRC's SPAN program.

Preventing homelessness, incarceration and relapse is as important as responding to it. BRC's case management programs focus on that. BRC's Home-Based Case Management programs offer one-to-one service coordination to seriously and persistently mentally-ill individuals, and other adults whose living situations may be unstable, and for whom service participation has proved challenging.

BRC's newest program is the Assessment Center for homeless men. Located in a newly renovated loft-style building at the corner of Clay and McGuinness in Greenpoint Brooklyn, and funded by a contract with NYC DHS, this 200 bed dormitory style residence will serve homeless men new to the shelter system. BRC will evaluate each individual and link them to the housing and services that best meets their needs. In addition, as a result of our continued dialogue with DHS and community leaders, BRC will dedicate one dorm (20 beds) to street homeless men of the Greenpoint community, an unprecedented commitment by the shelter system to provide a community-based strategy to respond to a significant local need.