Social Services

As a Christian community, The Riverside Church endeavors to provide access to comprehensive social services for those in economic and social crisis.

The Riverside Church provides access to comprehensive social services for those in economic and social crisis. We seek to enable people in need within our community to more fully support and nurture themselves and their families.

People who utilize our Social Services programs may receive referrals to job training programs, employment agencies, or other services. Riverside also helps clients in need of public assistance, SNAP (Food Stamps), and Medicaid, through information and referrals.

For more information please contact Rev. Dr. Debra Northern, Minister of Parish Care and Director of Social Services, at 212.870.6741 or via email.

Social Services Programs

Food Pantry
The Riverside Food Pantry distributes food Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We recommend arriving by 12:30 p.m.

Donations of non-perishable food items are accepted on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Most needed items include protein-rich foods such as peanut butter and canned tuna, as well as staples such as cereal, pasta, rice, soups, and beans. No glass bottles, please.

Clothing Distribution
Free casual clothing and professional attire are available to those who register with our Food Pantry. The Clothing Distribution office is open for walk-ins from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. Professional attire by referral and appointment only.

Questions or special requests? Please contact Reyita Rodriguez at 212.870.6939 or via email.

Clothing Donations
Clothing donations do not require an appointment. Questions? Please call Reyita Rodriguez at 212.870.6939 or via email.

Direct Aid
Direct Aid provides financial assistance to an individual or family facing an emergency that may lead to homelessness or a utility shut-off. Emergency needs addressed include shelter, clothing, food, utilities (gas, electric and phone), transportation, storage, medical assistance, medicine, counseling, and job training.

Safe Haven
Riverside provides safe, secure and clean overnight stays for adults experiencing homelessness and prepares these guests for permanent housing.

Barber Training Program – TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE
Participants are trained in barbering skills. Free haircuts are available to the community. Application for licensing is completed after graduation. We are in the process of restructuring the program. Please check back in January 2023 for new program details.

Shower Project – TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE
Open every Tuesday and Friday to the first 25 people from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Shower Project is designed to meet the needs of sheltered and unsheltered homeless men and women in need of a shower and clean clothing in New York City. Each guest receives a care basket with soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, and other essentials. Twenty minutes is allotted to each guest to enjoy a hot shower while their clothing is laundered. Volunteers and social services staff provide referrals for additional services to shelters, soup kitchens, medical facilities, counseling, advocacy, and employment.