Learn more about how BRC Programs Help Change Lives

Transitional Housing & Shelter

Every night at BRC, over 2,000 homeless men and women receive warm and caring respite as they work to secure more permanent housing.

At BRC, we understand someone can become homeless for many reasons.  We have 14 transitional housing programs with a goal to provide shelter and the resources needed to overcome challenges and find permanent housing. 

Each of these programs has a primary focus – such as mental illness, addiction, or employment – but takes a holistic approach to meeting the totality of a client’s needs. 

Our programs provide clients with:

  • A private sleeping area, usually in a dormitory setting
  • Lockable lockers
  • Showers and laundry
  • Recreation area and activities
  • Three nutritious meals per day prepared by BRC's kitchen and developed by BRC medical staff

Each client receives an independent living specialist, or case manager, who assists clients in applying for benefits, making appointments, managing their health and mental health, preparing for housing, and navigating the many service systems with which they must interact. 

We work with our clients and assist them as they perform these tasks for themselves. This improves the odds of their long term success once they leave BRC.


BRC operates 6 NYC shelters that can accommodate a total of over 900 individuals. 

  • Assessment Center (Greenpoint, Brooklyn) - Assessment Center is the first point-of-contact 200-bed shelter for men who have recently become homeless and referred by the City, along with a special initiative to serve the needs of the local street homeless.
  • Boulevard Residence (East Harlem, Manhattan) - Boulevard Residence is a 101-bed shelter serving single men with mental health service needs.
  • Jack Ryan Residence (Chelsea, Manhattan) - Jack Ryan Residence is a 200-bed shelter serving single men with mental health service needs.
  • Lexington Avenue Residence (Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn) - Lexington Avenue Residence (also known as 85 Lex) is a 103-bed shelter.  Employment services are also available at 85 Lex through BRC's Horizons Workforce Development program.
  • Palace Employment Residence (the Bowery, Manhattan) - Palace Employment Residence is a 117-bed shelter serving single men who have jobs or are able to work and need assistance in finding stable employment.  Employment services are available through BRC's Horizons Workforce Development program.
  • Reaching New Heights Residence (Fordham, Bronx) - Reaching New Heights Residence is a 200-bed shelter serving single men who have jobs or are able to work, but need assistance in finding stable employment.  Employment services are available through BRC's Horizons Workforce Development program. 

Safe Havens and Stabilization Beds

in 2006, we recognized that the structure and size of most shelters were unappealing to many chronically unsheltered homeless New Yorkers.  We worked with them to design a model of transitional living to which they would be receptive. 

BRC’s innovative Safe Havens – the original Bowery Safe Haven, the Lex Safe Haven in Washington Heights, and the Reception Center in Chelsea – all have fewer than 100 beds and operate under a modified harm reduction philosophy: though encouraged, sobriety is not required, rules are minimal, and structure is limited. 

These low thresholds make Safe Havens attractive to many who otherwise would stay on the streets and subways.  In fact, after a few weeks of sleeping indoors and in a bed, most clients make progress on their needs, and move on to housing. 

For those with stable health, and strong independent living skills, but who shun community, BRC offers clusters of private rooms called Stabilization Beds, as part of an initiative we call Moving Home.

Today, BRC’s innovative model has been replicated by our peers, and there are over a dozen Safe Havens throughout the City.

Community Residences

BRC operates transitional community residences targeting formerly homeless clients who are either mentally ill or dually-diagnosed as mentally ill and chemically addicted.

Licensed and funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health, these programs provide a safe and supportive environment to assist residents with attaining their work, social and community living goals.

A variety of services are available on-site including:

  • Case management
  • Substance abuse groups
  • Medication monitoring
  • Daily skills training; and
  • Recreational activities

BRC's transitional community residences include the 32-bed Casa de los Vecinos on the Lower East Side, 24-bed Cecil Ivory house in central Harlem, and 48-bed Fulton House in East New York.

For those who can thrive in a more independent living environment, BRC offers our Metropolitan Apartment Program, a scatter-site supported apartment program for 87 clients who share apartments throughout Manhattan and the Bronx.

From the Desk of Muzzy

Rather than create wealth for private developers, could we use the same shelter contract to create housing for low-income people?

Muzzy Rosenblatt,
CEO & President