Brooklyn Bridge

BRC: A Timeline

Providing a pathway from homelessness to home for more than 50 years

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1976

Residential Program

BRC establishes its first residential program, the Sobering-Up Station, a place that offered healthcare and support, and community action to those in need. With this development, BRC becomes a center of dignity and self-respect for New Yorkers in crisis.

1987

Homeless Outreach

BRC receives its first grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to create New York City's first homeless outreach program for those with mental illness.

1994

Housing First

BRC is one of seven NYC nonprofits selected to administer the Federal Government's first ever voucher program designed to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness, a precursor  for what today is called housing first.

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2004

Transitional Shelter

BRC opens two transitional shelters and a 24-hour drop-in center at the Palace: an employment shelter and permanent residence that BRC created from infamous the cubicle-style flophouse dormitories at Bleecker St and Bowery, significantly expanding supportive services for individuals experiencing homelessness in the City.

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2007

Safe Haven

BRC pioneers the first Safe Haven program in the United States, employing a harm-reduction and barrier-free model that satisfies the desires of the most reluctant unsheltered individuals. After a successful pilot phase, this model was adopted by service providers across the city.

2015

Nonprofit Excellence Award Winner

BRC is announced as a winner of the New York Community Trust's Nonprofit Excellence Award.

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2020

COVID-19 Response

BRC's faces the Covid-19 pandemic adding hundreds of staff members and hundreds more beds. Dedicated frontline staff provide life-saving services to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness throughout the ongoing economic and health crisis.

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1971

Founded

BRC is founded by a group of down-and-out residents of the Bowery's infamous "flophouses" motivated to take control of their lives and change them for the better. They form a self-help day-program called "The Social Rehabilitation Club for Public Inebriates," later named The Bowery Residents' Committee (BRC). BRC's legacy as a client centered organization still resonates in our programs and the people we serve, even as we have grown and developed into what the New York Times called, "one of New York City’s most respected charity groups."

1983

Supportive Housing

BRC opens its first "scatter-site" supportive housing program, leasing and maintaining apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Today, this program provides homes for over 350 formerly homeless men and women with a history of mental illness and/or substance abuse.

1992

Senior Housing

BRC opens its first housing facility and residence for seniors on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, named in honor of former client and volunteer, Clyde Burton. Serving older adults, Clyde Burton House ensures that vulnerable, elderly New Yorkers have safe, stable, and consistent access to housing and services.

1996

HIV/AIDS Support

BRC integrates HIV/AIDS services, including pre- and post-test counseling, into its programs. In the next three years, BRC will dedicate more than 70 apartments in its Glass Factory and Los Vecinos Apartments (now known as the Sadiqua Khabir House), to housing individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

2006

Outreach in Subways

BRC is awarded the The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)'s "Connections" contract, enabling BRC outreach workers to serve New Yorkers experiencing homelessness in subway stations and transit hubs. This initiative marks the start of what is now known as BRC's Transit Outreach services, which continues in subways throughout the city.

2014

The Opioid Crisis

BRC adds medically supervised withdrawal services to its Chemical Dependency Crisis Center as rates of opioid use and death dramatically rise. In future years, this service will be expanded to include clinically focused, treatment-based residential stabilization and rehabilitation services. And BRC will lead the way in the administration of buprenorphine and naloxone.

2018

Landing Road

BRC celebrates the opening of the Reaching New Heights Residence and The Apartments at Landing Road. The completion of this project demonstrates the success of the HomeStretch model, its innovative approach to use shelter contracts to cross subsidize housing for people with low income.

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2021

50th Anniversary

BRC marks its 50 Year Anniversary. Looking toward the future, BRC issues its strategic plan: "Moving Forward, Increasing Impact, Achieving Our Potential."