As of 10:00AM on January 24, 2023 – Shadow Count 2023 will be taking place as scheduled on January 24 – 25. Please arrive at your staging areas by 10:00 PM.


Learn how YOU can participate to be a part of the Shadow Count 2023! 

On January 24th – 25th (overnight), the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will conduct the HOPE (Homelessness Outreach Population Estimate) Count and will send volunteers across New York City to count people experiencing homelessness who are unsheltered.

On the same night, paid “decoys” will be planted in pairs in designated locations throughout all five boroughs of New York City. Information on the number of decoys that are counted by DHS volunteers will be used to assess the accuracy of the official DHS HOPE Count 2023.

When: Tuesday, January 24th at 10 PM – Wednesday, January 25th at 4 AM

Where:  Decoys are stationed on streets and in subways throughout the five boroughs. Your designated borough will be assigned to you during training. 

In order to participate, you must attend one mandatory training prior to the night of Shadow Count. Two types of trainings are available. You may choose to attend an IN-PERSON training at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, located at 2180 3rd Avenue @ 119th Street, New York, NY 10035 OR a VIRTUAL training via Zoom.

Compensation: Decoys will be paid $90.


What is required?

  1. Complete a
  2. Attend a decoy training.
  3. Submit a copy of your social security cardvalid photo ID, AND proof of your COVID-19 vaccination on the day of your training for people doing IN-PERSON trainings, and on the day of the Count for people doing VIRTUAL trainings.
  4. Check into and remain at your designated location on the night of the Shadow Count. (People who did VIRTUAL trainings must remember to bring their required documents.)

Please consider reaching out to people you know to talk to them about Shadow Count. Here is a brief flyer you can share with them and perhaps challenge them to participate with you: INFO SHEET 

For more information please visit our Facebook page or call us at 212-396-7766 (leave a message)

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