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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Covenant House

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: Covenant House provides a community of hope and healing to homeless young people in need of a safe haven. For kids who have run away from or been forced out of their family home or aged out of foster care, Covenant House provides a temporary home and a continuum of services designed to help them escape the streets forever and transition to a life with stable housing, a solid educational foundation, and sustained employment. . Founded in 1972, Covenant House has reached more than one million young people with immediate assistance and the support necessary to transition from a life on the streets to a life with a future.

Programs: Covenant House Crisis Centers provide safe housing, food, clothing, case management, counseling, medical care, and other support services. Covenant House Crisis Care programs operate 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

Community Stories

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Steen

Donor

Rating: 5

Covenant House does amazing work. I cannot say enough about them - they are shelter kids in need in 31 cities across 6 countries every night and also provide food, shelter, clothing and counselling. What they are doing to help the youth homeless crisis in our country is vitally important.

47

Donor

Rating: 2

I think it is important for donors to know that, although this charity is extremely valuable, they will be put on a mailing list, not only for this organization, but countless others, as a result of the donation. Writing to request removal from these lists is not helpful. You must make a phone call to Covenant House making that specific request.
I wish I had been given the ability to opt out at the time of my donation.
My mailbox fills with envelops from Covenant House with unused return postage on it. What a poor use of funds - when I suspect not only mine, but many other donations are initially made online.
My rating of 2 stars in no way intended to reflect my opinion of the quality of service provided to the agency's target group. It is my hope that seeing the lower score, my concerns will be addressed.

Review from Guidestar

18 Dale18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Covenant House is often the last buffer between homeless kids and fulfillment of their high at-risk status for predators. Covenant House's advocacy for homeless kids is most evident in their tremendous outreach program and they fill in the gap that families, schools and government agencies cannot begin to complete...the kid's emotional need for love and protection and a promise that though these kids may have nothing, they are indeed important and can rise above street life and its material limitations to become productive, faithful and conscientious members of society. They offer hope to those who have none.

25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Instead of providing "three hots and a cot" like traditional shelters, Covenant House offers this wide array of services which help homeless kids become self-sufficient.

I think that's what sets them apart from so many organizations. They don't just provide a temporary fix to the situation... they invest a tremendous amount of time in each young person's life so they transform into successful adults. There is job training and placement, life skills classes, independent living coaches and so much more. But most importantly, Covenant House's loving staff is ready to step in and be the family that most of these kids never had.

Previous Stories
22

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What people don't realize is that Covenant House welcomes kids who truly have no other place on earth to go. These are kids who runaway from abuse by the very people who should be loving them. They runaway from traffickers and pimps. And sometimes they run away from the unavoidable circumstances of having to survive alone on the streets.

From the leadership of Kevin Ryan down to the receptionist who greets young people when they take that courageous first step through the doors of Covenant House, this organization is wholeheartedly committee to saving lives.

God bless everyone who works at Covenant House and God bless the young people who find solace there.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the past I've attended their "Deck The Halls" Event. I helped decorate the shelter s well as wrap Xmas gifts donated to the residents. I'm looking forward to doing it again this year as I enjoyed volunteering their. The kids seem to enjoy the atmosphere there and that's something that I can support!

15

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently saw this charity featured on Good Morning America. The story focused on a young girl named Nigeria, and truly inspired me to want to help homeless youth. I know I'll be supporting these folks for a VERY long time. - Travis

15

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been donating to Covenant House for about 2 years after a friend of mine participated in one of their sleepouts. Since then he's continued to volunteer and talk about how worthy of a cause they are to support. I've heard a few success stories, and the resources are definitely going to the right places. Hope they can keep it up.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Covenant House is such an inspirational program. I was able to sleep out in the past with friends in order to support the many youth who receive support from Covenant House. It was a great learning experience and I look forward to participating and bringing more friends with me in future.

7 ElfsMom

Donor

Rating: 5

Covenant House continues to impress me with its tremendous commitment to saving kids and helping them realize their full potential.

Previous Stories
11

Donor

Rating: 5

Like the song says, "Children are our future" but far too many children are in horrible circumstances with no hope for a productive future. Covenant House people work miracles with young people who are trying to better their lives. If they need education, they get that. If job search help is needed, they get that. If hungry, they are fed. If homeless, they are sheltered. My favorite charity for changing our world.

Review from Guidestar

9

Donor

Rating: 5

For two years I have participated in their Broadway Sleep Out and volunteered. I've met the kids whose lives have been forever impacted by the good Covenant House does, seen the pride the staff takes in their facilities, and directed homeless kids to a warm meal and the help they need. I wholeheartedly endorse the vital work they do here!

14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Covenant House is truly an inspirational organization. I suggested that my younger Cousin after a major falling out with my Aunt. Covenant House took him right him and supplied him with food,clothing, and shelter. They've even helped him continue his education, maintain a job, and taught him how to save money for his very own apartment.

The change in my Cousin's behavior and the impact that Covenant House has had on him may have saved his life. He's raved about the staff and how it's easy to tell that they truly care about the residents. For the first time I feel that he's respecting other people, and sincerely trying to maximize his potential. Also, he took the first step and mended his relationship with my Aunt :-) .

I've seen first hand how Covenant House can help homeless youth, and troubled teens in general. I thank them for their effort and dedication, and will continue to support them moving forward.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So I volunteer at Covenant House. I'm a active duty military member that has served over +10 years. I've two degrees. I'm not an idiot. Copy all, on the salaries...thought however. If this non-profit has survived as long as it has, do you want to pay a good leader to stay there? Or should they be selfless and work modestly? I dunno. That's above my pay grade but I'd be willing to hear both sides of the argument a bit more.

I have a comment on those complaining about all the stuff the Covenant House sends to people. You may not be homeless--but you may know someone who is. Or you may know someone who knows someone who is. Also you may donate to the organization. Free food, free laundry, free clothes, free job search, free resume building, free medical (location dependent). And they still have to pay salaries, benefits, upkeep, etc. I can say the key to fund raising is connections and social networks....from what I've seen anyway. Again I may be full of it and none of you may believe me but guess what I'll doing most weeks? I'll be out in the city every Friday night handing out covenant house sunscreen, chapstick, business cards, wrist bands along with snacks and water just to let boys know they don't have to get beat and girls that don't deserve to be touched at night.

Again maybe I'm wearing rose colored sunglasses. But I see more good than bad.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2008, I mustered up the courage to leave home and went to the Covenant house. At the time, I was both fearful of the idea of staying at home and going to a homeless shelter. Here was my dilemma, if I stay at home, I faced more verbal and physical abuse everyday, if I went to the homeless shelter, I was going to get beat up, robbed, and basically anything else they portrayed in movies about homeless shelters because that was the only reference I had at the time. Looking back now, it sounds even funny to me, but at the time, it was my reality. As I was on the train headed for the Covenant House, I thought of every possible outcome, one of which was being rejected and sent home. I broke a sweat and thought to myself? How could I go home after leaving? Am I doomed to wander the streets? My duffel bag is pretty heavy. To my surprise, when I got there, I was accepted right away and then the rest is history.

Last spring, I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelors in Theatre and Marketing. Currently, I am working on my masters so that I can open up my own homeless shelter for teens to give back the help I once received. I believe that those who receive help and don't give it back it never deserved it in the first place. Covenant House gave me reason, provided me with safety, and ultimately saved my future.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Covenant House cares for homeless and at-risk young people. They met the youth where they are - whether they need a warm meal, a place to sleep, help getting their GED or finding a good-paying, stable job. Covenant House treats each young person that walks through their door with unconditional love and absolute respect, as expressed in their mission statement. Sometimes it is the first time these young people have felt safe, loved, encouraged to believe in themselves. The work Covenant House does 24 a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is so important, it is life changing and lifesaving.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Covenant House has long impressed me with the wonderful work that it does with young adults. This age group can seem so grown up but often are hiding their suffering and injuries. If we can give them a hand to conquer their pain, they can develop into amazing persons. Covenant House is the means to making this happen.

10

Donor

Rating: 2

I donated one time to this organization about 2 years ago. Since then, they have bombarded me with unsolicited mailings, each one more manipulative than the last. For a while I was getting a mailing at least every two weeks. As another reviewer said, they send junk regularly: useless, tiny blankets, mailing labels, cheap pens, tacky holiday cards, tiny gift bags and useless doodads. Clearly some fundraising company is making a mint off this outfit. According to Charity Navigator, only 67% of donations goes to actually caring for kids. Almost 20% of every dollar goes to fundraising. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4813#.UjEB0vvD9c8
If they have enough time and money to send this crap, why not spend more on actual children. Charity Navigator, a ratings aggregate web site that studies all aspects of charities, gives this group only 2 out 5 stars for handling finances.

9

Donor

Rating: 1

I think I will stop contributing to this charity until those two money-hungry ones stop collecting salaries totaling over $500,000. Imagine how much help our children would receive if no salaries were paid. This is not a 100 per cent volunteer organization as their advertisements would suggest..

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor for over 30 years and continue to be grateful for the amazing work Covenant Houe does not just for the children who come to its doors, but also, by its advocacy efforts, for all homeless, suffering children.

3 Patricia S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Covenant House is an organization that i grew up with. At different times in my life almost every member of my family has done some sort of volunteer work for this organization. So I've had a pretty close hand view of the dedication and passion that this organization has for young people who are homeless, troubled and often have no place to go. This organization has weathered some difficult blows and it has grown and continued in its mission despite difficult times.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently attended their Night of Broadway Stars event, and this is one impressive charity! Their kids seem to have a lot of heart, even though most of them come from abusive homes and bad circumstances in general. Kevin Ryan seems to be doing a phenomenal job as President/representative. I'm very proud to say that I'm a donor and will continue to support Covenant House and their cause. - M. Carl Thomas