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New York City

Find alternatives to calling the New York Police Department.

Cover photo for alternatives to police New York, NY, a list of alternatives to calling the police or 911

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Ali Forney Center
    • The Ali Forney Center is the largest and most comprehensive organization in the nation dedicated to housing LGBT youth. AFC serves youth aged 16-24, and provides emergency and transitional housing, street outreach, a drop-in center, medical and mental health treatment, a vocational/educational program, and a counseling project for the families of LGBT youth.
    • Manhattan/Brooklyn
  • Bowery Residents Committee Homeless Services Hotline
    • (212) 533-5151
    • www.brc.org
  • Safe Horizon Streetwork
    • Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project is New York City’s leading provider of emergency services and supportive care for homeless, runaway and street-involved young people ages 16 to 25.
    • (212) 695-2220
    • https://www.safehorizon.org/streetwork/
  • Sylvia’s Place
    • Sylvia’s Place is an emergency night shelter for self identified Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, trans-gendered, trans-sexual and questioning youth from 16 to 23 years of age.
    • (212) 629-7440

LGBTQ+

  • Ali Forney Center
    • The Ali Forney Center is the largest and most comprehensive organization in the nation dedicated to housing LGBT youth. AFC serves youth aged 16-24, and provides emergency and transitional housing, street outreach, a drop-in center, medical and mental health treatment, a vocational/educational program, and a counseling project for the families of LGBT youth.
  • LGBTQIA+ National Hotline – NY Division
    • (212) 989-0999
  • NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
    • Free, bilingual (English/Spanish), 24-hour, 365-day-a-year crisis intervention hotline is staffed by trained volunteers and our professional counselor/advocates, offering support to LGBTQ & HIV-affected survivors of any type of violence, as well as to those who love and support survivors, including those who have lost a loved one to violence.
    • (212) 714-1141
    • https://avp.org/get-help/call-our-hotline/
  • Sylvia’s Place
    • Sylvia’s Place is an emergency night shelter for self identified Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, trans-gendered, trans-sexual and questioning youth from 16 to 23 years of age.
    • (212) 629-7440

Mental Health

  • NYC Well
    • NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. Have access to mobile crisis response teams.
    • 1 (888) 692-9355
    • https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/
  • The Samaritans
    • 24-Hour Crisis Hotline. Samaritans free, confidential, 24-hour emotional support and crisis response hotline service is available on an immediate and ongoing basis to help people who are dealing with every kind of problem, illness, trauma or loss as they try to cope with their difficulties.The hotline provides those in crisis (as well as the people who care for them) with a 24-hour safety net that can be used to fill-in service gaps, bridge between appointments and act as a source of ongoing emotional maintenance for those with chronic emotional issues.
    • (212) 673-3000 (24/7)
    • https://samaritansnyc.org/24-hour-crisis-hotline/

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • Barrier Free Living
    • Barrier Free Living operates the Secret Garden Counseling service and the Freedom House DV Shelter for people with disabilities (people without disabilities also welcome, LGBTQ+ affirming)
    • Domestic Violence Hotline: (212) 533-4358 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday)
    • Outside of these hours call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 (800) 799-7233 
    • https://www.bflnyc.org/
  • Safe Horizon
    • 24-hour multilingual hotline offering crisis resources and referrals for victims of domestic violence.
    • 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) (Domestic Violence Hotline)
    • (212) 227-3000 (Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline)
    • TDD: (866) 604-5350 (All Hotlines)
    • https://www.safehorizon.org/
  • Violence Intervention Program
    • Provides culturally competent domestic violence intervention and stabilization services. Focus on serving New York’s Latinx population. VIP manages the only live-operated bilingual (English-Spanish) 24-hour hotline in New York City. Counselor Advocates provide an array of services, including over-the-phone crisis counseling, safety planning, emergency shelter information, and referrals to housing and other community-based social service providers as needed.
    • 1 (800) 664-5880 (24-Hour Hotline)
    • https://www.vipmujeres.org/

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • NYS Child Abuse Hotline
    • 1 (800) 342-3720
  • Prevent Child Abuse – New York
    • Prevent Child Abuse New York is the only private, nonprofit agency serving the entire state whose single mission is to prevent child abuse in all its forms. The Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN is an information and referral line for parents or caregivers seeking support. This is NOT a crisis line.
    • 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5373)
    • https://www.preventchildabuseny.org/prevention-and-parent-helpline
  • SCO Family of Services 
    • Offers a continuum of care and services that gets young children off to a good start, launches youth into adulthood, stabilizes and strengthens families, and unlocks potential for children and adults with special needs.
    • (718) 974-7800 (Regular Business Hours)
    • https://sco.org/
  • The Door
    • The Door is a drop-in center serving New York City’s runaway and homeless youth with a variety of services. Special focus on LGBTQ+ youth. 555 Broome St.
    • Walk in hours:
      • Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
      • Saturday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Street outreach:
      • Friday – Saturday, 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m, Christopher St. Pier
    • https://door.org/

Elders

Crime

  • Safe Horizon Crime Victims Assistance Program*
    • 24-hour multilingual hotline offering crisis resources and referrals for victims of crime and their families, available in NYPD precincts and Housing Police Service Areas citywide. CVAP provides supportive counseling, connections to individual or group therapy, and help navigating the legal and financial challenges that can emerge after a crime has occurred.
    • 1 (866) 689-HELP (Crime Victims and their Families Hotline)

Substance Abuse

  • Bowery Residents Committee Chemical Dependency Crisis Center

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the New York Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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