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The Floating Hospital's Good Health Shuttle: The journey to good health

If you’ve ever had the unenviable duty of readying and transporting a child to soccer practice, music lessons or a school play, you don’t need anyone to tell you how onerous such a task can seem. Getting out of the door with a young child or an infant can require a Herculean effort. And that’s in the best of circumstances.  

Now imagine you're a young mother with a family and one of your kids is sick and needs medical care. Lacking permanent housing, you’re living in a family homeless shelter or a de facto shelter in a city-sponsored hotel room. You don't know the neighborhood. You don't know the subway system or bus schedule and even if you did, you can't afford them. Perhaps you don’t speak English. Imagine how paralyzing it is to overcome all those obstacles just to get your child to the doctor.  

Bank of America finds a healthy partner in The Floating Hospital, showing a family in one of the hospital's vans.

As is common in the financial sector, Bank of America (BoA) has undergone its share of mergers and acquisitions, but throughout its philanthropic history, it has remained focused on community and those building blocks that support a community.  

“We’ve always done a mix,” says Gail Harvey, vice president and community relations manager for the bank in New York City. She cited the bank’s involvement in a wide range of sectors—arts and culture, education and school programs, workforce and housing. 

But what was missing was healthcare.  

“[We] were very broad but didn’t really fund in the healthcare space. But that changed over the pandemic and through the lens of racial inequality and access to other things that communities of color were blocked from,” she said, adding that the pandemic caused them to seek out “who we can help the most – those who are most overlooked and underserved and underestimated in every way.” 

In 2022 our Good Health Shuttle traveled over 138,860 miles transporting families from shelters to our clinic and back at no cost to them. That's nearly 5.6 times around the world.

Source: Samsara report, 2022

You're Invited to The Floating Hospital's 2023 Summer Benefit Gala

Help families get home again

For more than 155 years, we have assisted the neediest New Yorkers with their everyday and chronic medical concerns. In this crisis, however, healthcare alone is never enough. We do more because we have to do more, meeting people where they are and doing whatever it takes to make them whole.

By participating in The Floating Hospital’s Summer Benefit Gala, you help us provide advanced patient healthcare services, access to that care, and the education needed to achieve more independent, stable and healthy lives.

News and Events

Save the date for The Floating Hospital Summer Benefit Gala!

Join us, celebrate what we’ve done together, and help support the work ahead.  

The 2023 benefit will be held on the evening of June 12 at the sumptuous Metropolitan Club in Midtown at 1 East 60th Street. The 132-year-old Renaissance Revival landmark is a fitting venue for this year’s theme: The Roaring Twenties. 

We’re delighted to welcome WPIX reporter and six-time Emmy Award-winner Monica Morales as our guest host for the second year. Monica is known for her deep investigative work, reportage, and advocacy for New York City’s most vulnerable communities. Housing, food insecurities, and healthcare inequities are among the pressing issues she tackles on air and behind the scenes to bring justice and comfort to our neighbors. 

Come and swing to authentic twenties-era jazz by the Duke Ellington Legacy Band. Guitarist Edward Ellington II invokes his grandfather’s legacy as one of the most storied musicians and composers of the jazz age. It promises to be a grand night, and we look forward to seeing you there. Tickets, sponsorship, and more


A life to celebrate

With great sadness, we announce the passing of The Floating Hospital's long-time board member and former board Secretary, Maude Askin. At 91, Maude's passing is a reminder of the rich lives led by those who serve—her 20+ years with the hospital made it a better place through her wisdom, charm and willingness to help others. She will be sorely missed by all of us.


Supporting confident teens

We are thrilled to have the Hollister Confidence Project as a new supporting partner in our service to young people and youth development. Under the philanthropic umbrella of the Abercrombie & Fitch apparel company, of which Hollister is a brand, the project seeks to increase awareness and support of teen mental health and wellness. Hollister founded “World Teen Mental Wellness Day,” which dedicates each March 4 to disrupting the stigma around mental health. Funding granted to The Floating Hospital this year will support Camp Rise Up, our summer sleepaway leadership and life-skills camp for youth experiencing homelessness. We were pleased to join Hollister in publicly recognizing March 4 as a step forward on the path to teen wellness as well as thanking them for supporting our work.  

World Teen Mental Wellness Day, supported by Hollister
The symbol for SoS
From the ship's Log: Where salty breezes blow
Peeling potatoes on The Floating Hospital, 1894

When vegetables were unhealthy 

Before the late nineteenth century, most Americans believed a healthy diet was rich in fat, starches, and salt. Many avoided fresh produce, assuming that fruits and vegetables would worsen their health and make them vulnerable to cholera and dysentery. Meat, potatoes, milk and bread made up the meals served aboard The Floating Hospital, and those meals were heartily appreciated by the often desperately hungry families sitting at the long wooden dining room tables. 

Scientific and public thought about nutrition shifted dramatically near the turn of the twentieth century due to evolving science and the lobbying efforts of farmers and orchard owners. 

In 1926, The Floating Hospital of St. John’s Guild was still invested in feeding hungry children and their family members, though vegetables had become the star of its nutritional program. The Guild’s Seaside Hospital in Staten Island set aside a portion of its seventeen-acre property for a produce farm. The hospital boasted, “Five acres of fresh vegetables, all for the children. No Canned food.”* Fresh vegetables had once been considered dangerous and unhealthy, but by the 1920s, they had eclipsed starch and fat to become an essential part of the Hospital’s meal plan. 

Ideas about food and health have changed dramatically over time, and they will most likely continue to change. What foods do you think will be “healthy” or “unhealthy” fifty years from now? 

* “Champions of Children” pamphlet, St. John’s Guild, 1926, 13. 


Donate to help make healthcare for all New Yorkers a reality


Thank you from all of us at 
The Floating Hospital

Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 3391,
New York, New York 10163

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