Emergency Shelter Network

New Yorkers Coming Together To Help Those In Need For More Than 30 Years

The Emergency Shelter Network of Faith-Based and Community Organizations, Inc. (ESN-NYC) is a non-profit devoted to aiding, supporting and representing its members: a coalition of shelters, operated primarily by volunteers, serving homeless adult individuals throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

We are proud members of the Human Services Council and the Homeless Services United.


 NYDIS and ESN Sign Partnership to co-locate Offices & Expand Congregation-based Emergency Shelter Options to NYC Homeless in Crisis as well as Disaster Survivors or Volunteers 

For Immediate Release: 07.23.2018


New York, NY: On June 7th, witnessed by over 200 NYC Faith Leaders, New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) and The Emergency Shelter Network of Faith-Based & Community Organizations (ESN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a strategic partnership. The alliance was formed to increase "the capacity and participation rates of New York City houses of worship and community-based facilities providing emergency shelter services to vulnerable individuals and families who find themselves homeless and at-risk.”  The agreement goes in to effect on July 15, 2018.


“Last year’s disaster season impacted over 15% of Americans. More than 5,000 Puerto Rican families evacuated to New York City after Hurricane Maria to seek safe shelter and humanitarian assistance. These climate change refugees had few, if any, secure housing options.” said NYDIS’ Executive Director, Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div., during the event. “With climate change causing stronger and more frequent natural disasters, we will see more climate-induced migration within the U.S. and New York City. Nonprofits and our government must accept our role as a frequent host city and be better prepared for this – the federal government has repeatedly demonstrated that they are not - Katrina, the Haiti Earthquake, and Maria.”


NYDIS estimates there are still up to 9,000 evacuees from Maria living in New York City. While many are staying with relatives, almost 200 families remain in city shelters. Some received housing vouchers from NYC, but they have been facing difficulties finding landlords who will accept them.


“This new partnership will leverage our mutual assets to develop and sustain emergency shelter beds as well as disaster volunteer housing capacity for relief and recovery operations when disaster impacts housing in NYC. NYDIS and ESN are committed to increasing the capacity and participation rates of New York City houses of worship of all faith and community-based traditions in providing these emergency shelter services to vulnerable individuals and families,” said ESN Board Chair, Scott H. Ramsdell.


NYDIS agreed to spend this inaugural year of partnership offering pro-bono offices and administrative support to ESN and explore how both organizations can increase the capacity and utilization of the faith-sector and its partners in building resiliency amongst NYC’s most vulnerable populations. ESN will leverage this opportunity to provide increased bed occupancy, volunteer recruitment, training and advocacy.


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NYDIS is a 501(c)3 faith-based federation of service providers and charitable organizations who work in partnership to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services to New York City. Our mission is to inspire, connect and provide resources for NYC faith communities serving in disaster to create an urban environment of social justice for all.


The ESN is a 501(c)3 membership consists of over 50 faith-based and community shelters – with a capacity of 400 beds. Out network is an alternative to the NYC-operated shelters for homeless individual adults. It is our belief that personal attention in low population (10-20 guest clients), and most importantly dignity, hospitality and respect, give our shelter guests a firm foundation to transition from homelessness to sustainable housing, ESN’s ultimate goal.


Contact: Peter Gudaitis

Executive Director, NYDIS

917-449-8605 or info@nydis.org

4 West 43rd Street – Suite 407 | New York, NY  10036 | 212.669.6100 | www.NYDIS.org | info@NYDIS.org

faith communities building partnerships for readiness, response, recovery