Group Volunteers

Group Volunteers

Volunteer groups assist our organization greatly by coming together to better the communities they live and work in.

Volunteer as an Organization!

Volunteer groups assist our organization greatly by coming together to better the communities they live and work in. Housing Works is pleased to partner with corporations, universities, and community-based groups in the creation and implementation of volunteer projects that benefit our mission to provide lifesaving services to people living with HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

We are one of New York City’s largest and most successful support services for those in underserved communities. Becoming a part of the Housing Works volunteer family is an exciting way for companies to participate in team building exercises all while giving back and helping to improve the lives of at-risk New Yorkers.

Processing and Distribution Center

Housing Works, Inc. is a pioneer in the social enterprise business model movement. Our 10 city-wide Thrift Shops generate revenue to support our programs and services. The merchandise at our Thrift Shops depend on the generous donations of New Yorkers. All clothing donations are sent to our Processing and Distribution Center (PDC) in Long Island City, Queens. It is here that our dedicated team of staff and volunteers receive and sort through thousands of donated units that are vital in generating revenue for our organization.

As a PDC Volunteer, you will help with:

  • Sorting donations

  • Hanging and tagging merchandise

  • Organize inventory and backstock


Volunteer shifts are available Monday – Friday; 9 am - 1 pm or 10 am - 2 pm. The PDC can accommodate a maximum of 15 volunteers per shift and no prior experience is required.

Housing Works Thrift Shops

Our 10 Thrift Shops throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn are unique to each of their locations. All proceeds from our Shops help fund the lifesaving services and programs we provide everyday. Our shops depend on talented volunteers and volunteer groups to help assist with day-to-day operations.

As a Thrift Shop Volunteer, you will help with:

  • Customer Service

  • Processing and sorting donations

  • Sales floor assistance

  • Back stock organization and maintenance


Volunteer shifts are available 7 days a week and shift times vary depending on the shop. The maximum number of volunteers our shops can accommodate are no more than 10 at a time.

Bookstore Cafe

Almost 100% staffed by volunteers, our Housing Works Bookstore Cafe has established itself as a New York downtown destination equipped with thousands of books, a fully stocked café and many special events.

We are always looking for volunteer groups to support our staff in the general upkeep of the brick and mortar store, as well as in supporting our internet sales department.

As a Bookstore Cafe Volunteer, you may help with:

  • Stocking and product upkeep

  • Supporting staff in large-scale projects

  • Online orders and shipments

  • General cleaning and organization

  • Our Annual Open Air Street Fair, typically held the first Sunday of June


Volunteer shifts are available 7 days a week, 10 am to 2 pm, with some flexibility. The bookstore cafe can accommodate a maximum of 12 volunteers. Please submit volunteer requests at least two weeks before preferred volunteer date.

Special Events

Each year, Housing Works holds two fundraising events which serve to generate high revenues, donations, and resources for our organization: Design on a Dime and Fashion for Action. These events are large-scale fundraisers that require hundreds of volunteers for multiple days to assist with setup, day of event tasks, and break down.

Shift times and duties vary by day. Specifics are discussed individually with each volunteer group prior to the event, with event planning and volunteer staffing beginning two to three months before each event.


Is your group ready to lend your skills and volunteer? Click here to complete the online application.

Have questions about volunteering? Email us!

For Thrift Shops -

For Bookstore Café -

Our Mission

Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.

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