Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Emergency Shelter Records
1928-1988 (Bulk 1929-1975)
  MS 199

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Maurita Baldock

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 21, 2011
Description is in English.

Historical Note

Aug. 1929 The Greater New York Gospel Mission is started by businessmen, including Walter Britt, to help homeless and unemployed men regardless of their religious beliefs. The Mission is located on 36 E. 8th Street, near Fifth Avenue.
Oct. 1929 The stock market crashes. The Mission provides food and shelter to the unemployed.
1931 The Mission moves to 257-261 Greene Street, rented from Sailors' Snug Harbor.
1932 The Greater New York Gospel Mission becomes Emergency Shelter, Inc. Walter Britt is named Director, Charles L. Lawrance Treasurer, and James J. Moore, Secretary.
1933 The Shelter purchases property near Middle Island on Long Island, called Spring Brook. The property provides an opportunity for men to get out of the city and has as a farm, a store, and a gas station for work opportunities. The Shelter also has a program in which underpriviledged children from New York City reside at Spring Brook.
1936 Emergency Shelter moves to 69 St. Mark's Place, where it remains until it closes 54 years later.
1940-1950 The Shelter's services are mostly used by single men who are aging or suffering from emotional problems.
1950 The property on Middle Island is sold and nine acres of land and a small house are purchased in Yorktown Heights, New York. The new property, called Shelter Rock, has accommodations for forty men and is used to train men for rural employment.
1956 Founder Walter Britt retires from the Emergency Shelter and is succeeded by Major Leon B. deGarmo.
1960 Maj. Leon B. deGarmo leaves the Emergency Shelter and the Executive Director position is filled by J. Boyce Mooney.
1962 The property known as Shelter Rock is reclaimed by New York State under eminent domain to reroute the Taconic State Parkway.
1963 Realizing that no organization provides for homeless teenagers, the Emergency Shelter begins a program for boys ages of 16 and 20 years of age. The Shelter provides counseling, tutoring, vocational training, and recreational activities for the young men. The Rev. Leonard A. Schneider becomes the Executive Director.
1967 As the number of older men seeking assistance continues to drop, the Shelter begins focusing primarily on young men between 16-20 years of age.
1985 The Shelter opens a small facility for young women between the ages of 16 and 20 in Elmhurst, Queens.
1987 Emergency Shelter, Inc. leases apartments and rents them out to graduates of the Shelter. Both young men and women participate in this transitional and independent living program.
1990 The Emergency Shelter is absorbed into Leake and Watts, a New York City child care agency.