Housing Works: Part Thrift Store, Part Bookstore, All Charity

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/newyorkdailyhoto/400793124

As someone who gets a natural high from both finding “the perfect piece” at a thrift store and helping fellow New Yorkers, I’m kinda obsessed with Housing Works, who plays host to both of these things at the same time.  With locations all throughout the city, Housing Works Thrift Stores stand behind the mission of ending: “…the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.”

Since 1990, Housing Works has provided an array of services to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.  These services include: housing, healthcare, meals, nutritional counseling, mental health and substance use treatment, job training, and legal assistance.  These services are funded in part by donations made to the thrift stores, which are then sold to shoppers like me.

Housing Works is unique in that you can also bid for pieces on their online auction.  From a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress starting at $40, a Fendi wallet at $44, to a leather sofa sleeper at $150, you can find some pretty amazing stuff from the comfort and convenience of your iPhone.

If you’re more of a traditional in-store treasure trove hunter, you’re in luck.  With 12 locations scattered throughout the city, Housing Works has plenty of space for both donations and shopaholics alike.  My latest find was a polk-a-dotted coat by Ringspun that I’m pretty much in love with.

If you’re a literary junkie, you won’t want to miss out on Housing Work’s Bookstore Cafe located in Soho.  Truly a Disneyland for the book lover, this shop also hosts a myriad of special events, many of them free.  Did I mention they brew a killer coffee?

One of the reasons Housing Works is so successful is thanks to their rockstar volunteers.  Looking to get involved in an organization that bubbles over with fashion, culture, and goodness?  Housing Works could be that perfect place for you.  Visit their website for more information and store locations.

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen



  • Jacob says:

    Looks like an awesome franchise! Can’t wait to get down to NYC and look at the things in store. I know online auctions are fine and all nowadays, but I just can’t help having to feel the product I’m purchasing! Best part is it’s not only cool, it is helping a cause as well. Double whammy. Awesome share. Thanks UYC!

    • Used York City says:

      Agreed, I have to try something on before purchasing! But the online auction could be good if you’re scouting out a nice accessory or piece of furniture!

  • Cathy Kerr says:

    I have heard that Housing Works has been a specialist provider of supported accommodation to young people aged 16-25 for over 40 years.

    It is indeed a great job they are doing! I have always admired the efforts these types of organization are reallly helping the needy people out there
    Cathy Kerr recently posted..http://youngdriverinsurancescams.co.ukMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Hey Cathy! Housing Works does great work helping those living with HIV/AIDS, including providing housing throughout the city. Truly a great organization!

  • I love housing works! The UWS location is mere blocks from my office and I stalk during my lunch break on the regular! There’s generally a good selection of furniture up here.
    Beckie@Cubicle57 recently posted..Hanging with Patrice: my first plantMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Awesome, good to know! I’ll have to scout that location out, next! Take some Instagrams of your fun finds!;-)

  • This place sounds great! I’ll have to drop in next time I’m in NYC. I also like cool spots like this that happen to make a difference, too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Used York City says:

      You’re so welcome! Definitely stop by, they have lots of fun finds ranging from top designers to funky vintage stuff!

  • just discovered you folks via Apron Thrift Girl. what a great webstie! i will definitely be back – and hope to literally be back in NYC sometime in the future!
    Thrift Shopper for Peace recently posted..Thrifting in the Downtown East SideMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! We look forward to checking out your blog, as well! Stay tuned for more articles on great thrift and vintage stores in NYC!:-)

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