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Housing available for qualifying seafarers and asylum seekers
The guesthouse is now closed to the general public

In 2023, Seafarers International House (SIH) celebrated its 150th anniversary of "lighting the way for both seafarers and immigrants" and concluded a strategic plan through 2028.  We have adopted a post pandemic business model where we lease out our flagship building to a not-for-profit partner that aligns with our work. This arrangement enables us to focus on our original purpose: to care for the urgent needs of vulnerable seafarers and asylum seekers.  

Therefore, we are no longer taking reservations for accommodations from the general public for either rooms or meeting space.   

We do receive your mail at:

123 East 15th Street

New York, NY 10003 

and can be reached at our regular number:

(212) 677-4800 and email: 

Presently, we are headquartered in a temporary home at the Salvation Army, complete with 11 guestrooms and offices. We are continuing our robust ship visiting as well as our social services for and housing of seafarers and asylees.

If you are a seafarer with a valid MMC in need of accommodation in Manhattan or other assistance, please email or call us at (212) 677-4800. If you need to access mail or your locker, please make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. 

For a quick overview of the past 151 years of uninterrupted service, please visit our history page.

A complete history in the form of a 30-page 150th Commemoration PDF can be downloaded gratis by clicking the image or this LINK.


Please consider making a donation. Just click the "Donate" button on this page or this DONATION LINK

Seafarer waving from deck of Chilean Bulker Lauritzen photo Ruth 2024 01 01 .jpg
Two male Venezuelan asylees at Markle photo Marsh Drege 2022 07 20.jpg
CAS 2 seafarers night Interlink Nobility unloading lumber photo Ruth 2023 12 30.jpg
150th SIH booklet Final 2023 01 30 Front Cover Page only.jpg


Did you know that the international shipping industry is responsible for the carriage of around 90% of world trade?

Working on these ships are seafarers (mariners or crew members), often for months on end.  In that isolation, they are at risk of piracy, abusive co-workers, depression, and accidents. These mariners hail from over 150 nations. When they finally enter a US port, many are denied shore leave because they are viewed as security risks. Or they are allowed on land, only to have no transport to take them where they need to go.

Seafarers International House staff assist them by being able to board their ships or offer rides in our vans.

Since 2012, SIH officially continues the work of the German Seamen's Mission in New York with German speaking staff and port chaplains and is affiliated with the Deutsche Seemannsmission e. V.


Almost everyone living in the United States of America is an immigrant, a descendant of immigrants, or a descendant of people forcefully brought here. Today, when people enter the USA to seek asylum after escaping from life-threatening conditions at home, they are placed in detention centers, privately operated jail-like facilities. Here they are confined for many months, sometimes even years, without fresh air or windows, sharing space with many others.  Detainees have only very limited access to the outside world, often fearing for the well-being of their families and children.  Seafarers International House staff and volunteers visit them to nurture their minds and to give them hope.  Once they are granted asylum, a few stay at the guesthouse and receive social assistance free of charge until these new Americans find a permanent home and employment and become contributing members of society. 

Immigrants on steamer passing Liberty Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 2, 1887 -
Margay Whitlock with immigrant family.jpg


Interested in supporting seafarers and immigrants? Learn more about how you can help by visiting detainees, knitting scarves for the Christmas-at-Sea initiative, or supporting advocacy programs and fundraising events like the Right to Asylum Reception or the Setting  the Course Banquet. 

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