About Homelessness

Homelessness is a complex human issue effecting tens of thousands of New Yorkers on any given night, including hundreds in the Saratoga region. Nearly 33% of families in Saratoga County are experiencing financial hardship, and at-risk of homelessness. 

Shelters of Saratoga’s programs offer a comprehensive approach to care. Our programs span the continuum of care from life-saving winter shelter to long-term stabilization through our emergency shelter program on Walworth Street.  Just as the reasons for homeless are complex, so are the solutions. 

Four Main Causes of Homelessness





NYS Homelessness

people face homelessness in NYS

are single adults


of households struggle to make ends meet


poverty rate



We operate two shelter programs intended to meet people at varying stages of their journey.

Code Blue Low-Barrier Shelter
This shelter provides nightly respite from cold winter weather and is geared toward those who may not be ready to take the next step toward housing and financial stability. We operate in accordance with NYS Code Blue mandates from November until April, providing life-saving shelter with a hot meal nightly. There is no admission process, sobriety or service engagement requirement. Our hope is we can build relationships with guests and encourage a higher level of care through our year-round emergency shelter program.

Emergency Shelter
We operate an emergency shelter program that provides 24 hour support to those who wish to regain housing, and achieve financial self-sufficiency. On average, 70% of program participants move out of the shelter in to supportive or independent housing. 


Outreach services provide assistance to individuals and families living on the streets. Relationship building through basic necessities and individual assessments is key to the successful transition to shelter, treatment, and housing. For the winter season, outreach activities shift indoors to our Code Blue facility, where safe daytime services are provided for those who wish to enroll with care management. 


Supportive housing is affordable housing with onsite services that help formerly homeless, disabled tenants live in dignity in the community. Supportive housing is permanent and affordable: All tenants hold leases and pay about a third of their income in rent. The residences are owned and operated by nonprofit organizations, and are accountable to their city, state, and federal funders. 

In New York State, several capital and operating programs are available to help people facing homelessness secure housing. The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations, municipalities and public corporations to acquire, construct or rehabilitate housing for persons who are homeless and are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance. 

The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) and New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP) provides funding for supportive services.

Shelters of Saratoga currently operates 11 supportive housing units and will open 9 additional units in 2024.
Learn more about our supportive housing program.


1-Saratoga region homelessness and shelter availability: Point-in-Time Count 2021 
2-New York and Saratoga County poverty and ALICE threshold data: ALICE Report 2020