Skip to main content

Reaching Out a Helping Hand

St. James’ takes seriously our Biblical mandate for hospitality, operating a 12-bed shelter for homeless men in partnership with Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. The shelter is staffed entirely by volunteer hosts, who provide a light meal and a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for our guests five nights each week.

The shelter space is located in the basement of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church on the corner of 73rd street and Madison Avenue, two blocks from St. James’.

In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression with nearly 60,000 people without a home every night. While we cannot serve everyone, we can make a difference in the lives of 12 men. And for those men, this difference means everything.

Volunteer Opportunities

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

– Hebrews 13:2

Toiletries Ministry

Help the homeless by providing for St. James’ Church toiletries ministry. We collect and sort various toiletries to make hygiene kits for those in need. Learn how you can help!

More About the Ministry
Samaritan's Closet

Working in partnership, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (MAPC) and St. James’ Episcopal Church offer a free clothing closet on Sundays. Volunteers are needed for Samaritan’s Closet. We are open every Sunday to serve guests from 12:00-3:00 pm, with hopes to expand our hours. Volunteer responsibilities include directing guests to the closet, facilitating the shopping experience, and helping guests find items.  All volunteers must receive orientation. 

For orientation, please email or to register to volunteer, please visit

Volunteer Opportunities

Called to Serve

Hosts serve as individuals or pairs. Set-up hosts may also serve in small teams of up to four. Some of our hosts view volunteering as a great way to spend time serving God and the community as a couple, family, or friends. You must be 18 years or older to serve as an individual. Families are also welcome; children must be accompanied by a parent. Guests must be screened through the same process as regular hosts.

Volunteer as a Set-Up Host (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.)

Welcome guests and serve a light snack.

Serve as an Overnight Host (8:30 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)

Stay the night in a private room and supervise breakfast and departure in the morning. Showers are available for those who need to go directly to work.

How do I get started?

Prospective hosts must attend an Open House or arrange for an orientation. From September through May, Open Houses are held on the first Sunday of every month at 1:00 p.m., meeting at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. If you cannot make a group orientation, individual training sessions may be arranged upon request.

It's such a simple concept — give people a warm bed and good food, and it creates such a positive impact on their lives.

— Lees, volunteer host

It's a very simple ministry, and it's rewarding. You know if you weren't there the shelter wouldn't open.

— Helen,  volunteer host

Contact Co'Relous Bryant for more Info