Project Renewal, Inc.

A nonprofit organization

$10,539 raised by 68 donors

100% complete

$10,000 Goal

Our Mission: The mission of Project Renewal, Inc. (PRI) is to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering individuals and families to renew their lives with health, homes, and jobs. We began in 1967 as a pioneering 48-bed alcohol detoxification program on the Bowery, and today we serve 15,000+ individuals who are chronically homeless or at risk of becoming homeless across New York City. Our clients comprise our communities’ most vulnerable—a majority are unemployed, uninsured, and/or managing other life challenges. Because homelessness results from myriad factors that must be met with innovative and adaptable interventions, PRI works closely with clients through a continuum of care that includes quality housing, healthcare, and workforce development services.

Our Project: Restoring Community for Project Renewal Clients in the Era of COVID-19

  • Who: Project Renewal's Occupational Therapy (OT) program, serving 2,000+ clients living across our 13 shelter, transitional, and supportive housing facilities. These individuals are our communities' most vulnerable; most have histories of justice involvement, lack a high school diploma, and/or manage serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 
  • Why: COVID-19 has impacted Project Renewal's clients distinctly and disproportionately. They are at especially high risk given pre-existing medical conditions, advanced age, and other complex co-morbidities associated with histories of homelessness, substance use, and marginalization. Our clients are also exceedingly susceptible to anxiety, depression, and food insecurity as they self-isolate. Our OT team is working tirelessly to address these threats.
  • What: All Project Renewal resident clients are eligible for our OT program, which typically provides: appointment escorts and advocacy (e.g., medical, employment, court); group visits to local parks and cultural sites; on-site group workshops (e.g., cooking skills, sober leisure, health management); art and pet therapy; and individual sessions to ensure clients can overcome any personal barriers they face to staying healthfully and stably housed. With the onset of COVID-19, the OT team jumped into action. They are disseminating wellness information, maintaining client medical appointments, and delivering emergency food, while also innovating ways to maintain feelings of connectedness. OT has been particularly critical for our 500+ shelter clients recently required to de-densify into hotels—an undertaking essential to stem the virus spread, but extremely sudden and destabilizing. 
  • How: Funding will contribute to  developing an agency-wide OT strategy for improving current community-building activities and creating future ones, taking into account the constantly shifting landscape of local COVID-19 regulations and the long-term potential for new public health crises. The strategy will also include a plan for the transition of hotel residents back to their home shelters—a starkly different living situation—and the mental health stress likely to accompany another move. Funding would enable the crucial work necessary to rebuild these disrupted communities. 

Learn More: We invite you to visit our website and read more about our comprehensive response to COVID-19. We would also love to see you on Facebook, Instagram, or for a virtual volunteer event! Please email Shelby McClelland at for more details on volunteering.

Organization Data


Organization name

Project Renewal, Inc.

Tax id (EIN)



Health Community Volunteer


NEW YORK, NY 10014