About Us

Mission Statement

The Space at Tompkins is a harm reduction organization providing aid and unconditional support to the transient homeless community. 

We are a unique mix of community members and peers using our experiences to connect with individuals who do not receive consistent support from traditional service providers.

To remove common barriers to accessing services, our work is street-based and we focus on providing our clients a framework to become self-sufficient.

The Space at Tompkins’ Clients

The Space at Tompkins is a harm reduction organization providing aid and unconditional support to the transient homeless community. 

Why are our clients are not receiving consistent support:

  • Most city agencies are specialized and serve specific populations, and our members need a spectrum of support that does not exist at one single organization
  • Many of our members identify as “youth” but are over the age limits of youth-specific organizations, and they often feel out of place or uncomfortable at agencies tailored to adults
  • Our members are often targeted by law enforcement and they do not always feel confident approaching service providers and large government institutions
  • Our members are frequently unaware of what local services are available to them because they are transient and passing through New York City.

Our History

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The Space at Tompkins was founded in October 2009, by harm-reduction specialist Andréa Stella. Her goal was to provide harm reduction and transitional services to the transient homeless community of lower Manhattan. We found that many of our current participants had aged out of the youth drop-in centers and felt as if they had no other place to go. The creation of The Space was a response to this gray area between youth-based social service agencies and those tailored to adults. Unlike many of the more traditional social-service agencies, since day one, the people we serve have played a key role in the voice of the organization. Some help us by telling us where we have succeeded for the community or where we have fallen short, and others have become volunteers and permanent fixtures within our organization. This continuing dialogue and review process helps us understand and adjust to the shifting needs of this specific population.