Healthcare is a basic human right. We are here to provide it to all New Yorkers, regardless of insurance status, immigration status, or ability to pay
The Floating Hospital provides exceptional, compassionate healthcare to families in need. We provide care regardless of insurance status, immigration status, or ability to pay. We care for our patients as individuals with unique needs and goals. We offer education to help them self-care, now and for the long term. Our commitment is the same as it was more than 150 years ago: unrestricted healthcare to all who walk through our door.
Founded in 1866
The Floating Hospital was one of the first healthcare charities in NYC, dedicated to caring for the sick children of families living in tenement homes. For 150 years, we have remained a true charity, offering healthcare to those whose circumstances make it difficult to access affordable or no-cost health services. Today, The Floating Hospital maintains its historic mission by providing a healthcare safety net to families living in shelters and domestic violence safe houses throughout the city, as well as the medically underserved community of Northwest Queens. Learn more about our unique history
The Floating Hospital provides primary and specialty healthcare
We are a traditional charity hospital, as well as a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary medical, dental and behavioral healthcare services, in addition to select specialties: optometry, podiatry, and cardiology. Our integrated team of medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare providers tailors care to patients’ unique healthcare profiles, lifestyles and circumstances. This means that everyone can receive all the care they require under a single roof, a great relief to families already burdened by the insecurity and isolation of shelter living.
The Floating Hospital offers more than healthcare
We provide free door-to-door transportation through our Good Health Shuttle, a five-borough program servicing more than 250 shelters and domestic violence safe houses in NYC, and to the public housing communities of Astoria, Ravenswood and Queensbridge Houses in Northwest Queens.
We offer health and lifestyle education to people of all ages, in private and group settings. Self-esteem and life skills training steer homeless young people away from abusive relationships and prepare them for success throughout their lives. Nutrition is a vital topic, especially for families housed in shelter dwellings that often lack kitchens. We’re excited to report that we’re building a teaching kitchen in our main clinic where patients can practice making our no-cook and microwave cook meals.
We relaunched our summer camp for sheltered teens, Camp RiseUp. The camp focuses on providing teenagers with health education, life skills, and building self-esteem.
Fresh air, sunshine, and outdoor play was a vital part of The Floating Hospital’s prescription for health when our first barge launched in 1866 and we hold true to the benefits today.
We provide personal healthcare items (like tampons and toothpaste), baby care essentials (like diapers and wipes), healthy food and snacks, seasonally appropriate new clothing, children’s toys and books, and social services support.
We provide free services or “charity care” at a rate 10x that of the average hospital charity care.* Many of our services are not covered by government support or insurance reimbursement. Despite that, we do whatever we can to give families the support and resources they need to stay in school, secure employment, and work towards permanent housing.
*Herring, Bradley et al. "Comparing the Value of Nonprofit Hospitals' Tax Exemption to Their Community Benefits." Inquiry, Jan-Dec 2018
More than 15,000 families in NYC live without homes, in shelters, domestic violence safe houses, and in temporary residency hotels. Families represent ¾ of the city’s homeless population.
families sleep in NYC homeless shelters every night, exceeding the population of Poughkeepsie, NY
New York has 17% of all homeless families in the U.S
The mortality rate among adults who use the family shelter system is 1.5X higher than the general population.
Children comprise 36% of the NYC homeless population
Half of all women who are homeless report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
children are homeless in the NYC school system, exceeding the population of Albany, NY, the State Capital.
The Floating Hospital is NYC’s largest healthcare provider to families living in homeless and domestic violence shelters. With healthcare, a family can thrive.
A quarter of all families living in the shelter system receive their care at The Floating Hospital.
We provide free services or “charity care” at a rate 10x that of the average hospital charity care.
Our citywide transportation service, The Good Health Shuttle, removes a key barrier to care for families living in shelters and under resourced communities. On an average day, our vans and buses make more than 100 round trips.
We serve every domestic violence safe house in NYC.
We offer education and resources to help families self-care, now and for the long term.
New York City faces a crisis like none other in the United States—more than 15,000 families are temporarily housed in municipal shelters. There are even more families and children living “doubled-up” in spaces rented or owned by others, such as friends or family members. The number of students living in temporary housing in NYC schools now exceeds 114,000.* Families are being forced out of their homes due to decreased affordable housing, a widening gap between incomes and rents, and the ongoing epidemic of domestic violence. Systemic poverty, lack of resources, physical and social isolation, and institutional racism further threaten families, communities, and our collective future. The Floating Hospital addresses these threats at their core.
Healthcare, Relief, Prevention
Our goal is to use every available means to make quality medical, dental and mental healthcare accessible for as many families as possible, regardless of their economic, social, immigration, or insurance status. Everyone is welcomed. We provide education, resources, and coaching to help them achieve healthy lifestyles that will help them achieve security. Studies show that providing healthcare is a critical step on the road to stabilizing people’s lives and supporting their transition back to permanent housing.
The Floating Hospital treats healthcare as a basic human right.
*Advocates for Children of New York
The Floating Hospital remains unchanged in its commitment to provide care, regardless of ability to pay to New York City’s most vulnerable residents, homeless families living in family shelters and domestic violence safe houses. For them we are an island of stability in their often turbulent, and ever-changing, world. Your support matters and makes a difference.
Provides a healthy lunch to a family of four.
Provides 1 tank of gas to a van transporting 120 people to their medical appointments.
Enables an unemployed mother living in a shelter to receive her physical exam and re-enter the world.