Housing shelters in New York City have a bad reputation. They are often characterized by high crime and poor access to services. Because of this reputation I was unsure what I would see at the Capitol Hall Residence, despite it being single room occupancy and not a traditional shelter. During my time visiting Capitol Hall, I was shocked by the conditions, in a very good way. The residence was almost the opposite of the typified shelter.
Residents there have much more than just a shelter, instead they have a home. Capitol Hall allows those in need to get help while maintaining their safety and dignity. The accessibility of services can often be the difference in whether or not they will be used by those who need them. Capitol Hall provides its residence with access to food, mental and physical healthcare, and even help with things like taxes and paperwork. Having this kind of access is wonderful in helping those who need it, and the Capitol Hall Residence serves its residents remarkably well.
The only downside to the residence comes in its apparent uniqueness. The residence came about as a result of uncommon level of community support for such a place, and owes its continued existence and growth to the actions of that community. Most places would not be so supportive of such housing for the homeless, and because of this the success of Capitol Hall does not seem as easily repeatable as just making more buildings into similar housing.