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Project Renewal


project-renewalThe Basics

Project Renewal was first established in 1968 as a cooperative project between the New York Court System, the NYPD and the Bureau Institute of Justice. The intention was to create an alternative solution to the norm for dealing with homeless addicts at the time: giving them a meal and shower, then turning them back to the streets. Project Renewal serves the members of New York City’s homeless population who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders by providing temporary shelter, medical services and substance abuse treatment. While the headquarters are located in The Bowery, the network operates several treatment locations throughout the city that provide detox and outpatient services that include individual and group therapy, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and educational and vocational training.

Treatment and Staff

The men and women who come to Project Renewal usually do so at the urging of the staff of the mobile medical units who travel all over the city and provide health care for those who are homeless and in the throes of addiction. Most of the programs are offered through a phasing system. The first phase entails obtaining a physical, going to the recovery center for an assessment, then moving onto the detox and weekly group and individual counseling. The detox program is operated as an ambulatory treatment that can include a maintenance program utilizing buprenorphine for clients who have an addiction to opiates. The first phase also involves an introduction to 12-step recovery principles. The second phase includes job training and transitional care and eventually permanent housing.

There are gender-specific treatment sites that provide myriad resources from temporary shelter to training programs. The Third Street Men’s Shelter offers a detox program and 200 beds. This facility houses The Recovery Center, which offers outpatient detox services and counseling, medical and dental services and psychiatric services like medication management. One of the women’s shelters known as New Providence Women’s Shelter has 130 beds for the evening and primary care medical treatment in addition to dual diagnosis programs. There are also group and individual counseling and psychoeducation along with HIV testing and education. Regardless of where the clients are when they come to one of these facilities, the staff works to put together an individualized treatment and continuing care plan.

Project Renewal has over 700 employees at large, including a medical staff, addiction counselors, LCSWs, case workers and peer counselors.


Project Renewal offers graduates of the treatment work opportunities like chef training though the Borden Culinary Arts at no cost.

In Summary

The work that Project Renewal does is nothing short of incredible. It treats clients with the upmost respect and aims to give them a brand new life, hopefully in recovery. It only asks that in return alumni give back to the program by serving as peer counselors for new clients and taking on leadership roles at the facilities. For those who have gone through hard times, found this program and came out the other side, Project Renewal is a godsend.

Project Renewal
200 Varick St, Fl 9
New York, NY 10014

Project Renewal Cost: Mostly free; some services are sliding scale. Reach Project Renewal by phone at (212) 620-0340. Find Project Renewal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube

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