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.


Founded in 1866, The Floating Hospital was one of the first pediatric healthcare charities in New York City dedicated to caring for the city’s impoverished children and their families.

Our organization’s approach was revolutionary from the beginning: going to where the patients were and bringing them to care. At that time, it was on our ship docked in New York Harbor, with care consisting of medical attention, a bath and meal, health education and a day of recreational respite. Through the decades, we added other forms of relief but never abandoned our core charity mission to provide unrestricted healthcare regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay.

Today, The Floating Hospital provides our services from a new, modern clinic with an expanded capacity to serve the community.

Airy, light-filled and welcoming, our flagship clinic dignifies the experience of seeking healthcare for people who otherwise have no medical home.

Our integrated co-located healthcare services include primary medical, dental and behavioral healthcare, and infectious disease and podiatry specialists. We’ll soon add an optometry practice in 2024. The Floating Hospital’s “more than healthcare” offerings include free health education and shuttle transportation from approximately 300 shelters and domestic violence safe houses citywide; a dedicated life-skills program to help families with school enrollment, housing applications, employment, benefits and education; distribution of essentials such as food, infant and hygiene products, and seasonal clothing; a summer leadership and skills camp for homeless youth; and community clinics offering free HIV and women’s health screenings. At the heart of the clinical operations is a complete teaching kitchen and activity center where patients and community members can partake in hands-on workshops on healthy food sourcing, meal preparation, and other pertinent healthcare-related topics.

A hidden, unprecedented humanitarian crisis in New York City

Tens of thousands of families have nowhere to live.

Right now, in New York City, one out of every 100 babies born is homeless.

Homelessness among families in New York City has hit epidemic proportions, a humanitarian crisis fueled by domestic violence and a lack of affordable housing. Parents living in family homeless shelters, domestic violence safe houses, doubled up with families and friends or living on the streets lack basic securities—food, clothing, shelter—that others take for granted. Such conditions have profound effects on their health and their futures.

*Advocates for Children of New York: Student Homelessness in New York City, 2022-23. 202-23 was the eighth consecutive year in which 100,000+ New York City public school students experienced homelessness. Educational Indicators for Students Experiencing Homelessness, 2021-22


The Floating Hospital provides “more than healthcare” to meet the needs of our families and our community.

We break down barriers to care by providing families free round-trip transportation to their healthcare appointments. Our Good Health Shuttle fleet of minibusses transports families safely, making more than 22,000 trips annually.

mom and son on shuttle

We offer free health education for all ages, in schools and at our clinic. We help families navigate the complexities brought on by homelessness with socio-emotional learning that includes interpersonal skills, self-care, reproductive health, financial literacy, job readiness and more.

We give families urgently needed food, clothing and necessities, such as diapers and hygiene products. We supply kids with toys, books, and backpacks stocked for school. Most families we see have only the handful of clothes and personal items they can carry in a suitcase or shopping bag. Finding food and clothing is always a priority for them.

We help families navigate the housing and healthcare systems and other bureaucracies, ensuring they meet the protocols to receive benefits, education and housing. This is a critical and ongoing task for those on public housing wait lists, which can be longer than seven years. Heads of household lacking literacy skills often fail to meet application deadlines and they struggle to navigate the matrix of requirements to get— and keep—their kids in school.

We help change their life trajectory through our summer camp experience for young people 12-17. Camp Rise Up combines classroom curricula and recreational activities that expand horizons and build the esteem, skills, knowledge and relationships that homeless children can’t access in their everyday lives. Our multi-year track encourages campers to stay connected all year, providing them with a network they can call their own.

Two campers at Camp Rise Up


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 for a family of four


Provides one tank of gas for our Good Health Shuttle that transports people to their medical appointments


$250 enables a woman to receive the screenings and physical exams needed for employment or school.

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