Covenant House transformed after $82 million renovation

In the basement of a Manhattan homeless shelter, you’ll find 20-year-old Myles planning out his future inside a new recording studio.

“When I first came here and heard they have a studio, it just boosted me up to keep going and pursuing my dreams,” Myles said. “They also have a gym. I used to play basketball so it keeps me active and stuff like that,”

Myles, who goes by the stage name Myles T. Jordan, is one of more than a hundred young people ages 18 to 21 living at the brand new Covenant House on West 41st Street in Hell’s Kitchen. 

The homeless shelter has been at this location since the 1970s but just underwent an $82 million makeover. It’s now offering so much more than a safe haven. In addition to the recording studio and basketball courts, there are also new dorm-style rooms, an outdoor space, health care, legal aid, job training, and the list goes on. 

Heidi Blau and her architecture team designed it all.

“Everything you see we have given thought to, whether it’s the brick on the outside, the windows, the size of the windows, the flooring material not giving off vinyl gasses, the colors that we use on the signage that’s on the walls,” Blau said. 

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Sister Nancy Downing is Covenant House New York’s executive director.

“Oftentimes they come in off the street thinking, ‘I’m just trash that’s been kicked to the curb’ and no child should think that way,” Downing said. “So being able to provide them with this lovely space where they can stand up a little taller, think a little better of themselves, it helps them move onto better places in their lives.” 

Right now, 120 young people stay at Covenant House. When they turn 21, the goal is for them to be ready to live independently or return to their family.

To inquire about living at Covenant House, you can walk through the front door and speak with the staff.

Covenant House New York | 460 W. 41 St., New York, N.Y. 10036 | 212-613-0300 |

Covenant House New York features dorm-style rooms.