Brief History

Project Hospitality is a community-based, not-for-profit agency established in 1982 as an interfaith volunteer emergency response to the needs of homeless and hungry persons in Staten Island, New York. Incorporated in 1984, this volunteer community network implemented life-saving measures to meet the critical needs of homeless persons in the borough by providing emergency outreach, food, clothing, and shelter.

The agency began with a simple food pantry and soup kitchen in 1982, opening the borough's first overnight voluntary church emergency shelter for homeless men in 1983, followed by a voluntary church-based women's shelter and year-round men's shelter in 1984. In 1985, Project Hospitality opened a trailer at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to provide emergency and referral services to homeless persons who had congregated in the ferry terminal, the only heated public space on Staten Island. The outreach trailer represented the agency's first city contract, with the then NYC Human Resources Administration. It was through the intake and referral process of this initial drop-in center model that the agency was able to identify the multiple needs of homeless persons coming for help.

Nearly all (97%) of the persons served were addicted to either alcohol or drugs, and 63% had a history of mental illness. Of 2,000 homeless persons served annually by the agency, 591, or 30% were HIV+. Having identified the special needs of mental health and chemical dependency treatment and HIV care for the population of homeless people served in Staten Island, Project Hospitality then developed a comprehensive continuum of care over the years to meet those special needs while developing models of housing and community-based clinical treatment and support services that would provide long-term assistance. The mission of Project Hospitality reflects that commitment to a continuum of care.

When we needed a place to stay, you gave it to us. When I needed food and clothes, you gave my Mom donations. When I moved, you were still there for me.