Homelessness in NYC is at an all-time high, accounting for 14% of the nation’s homeless population.
Nearly 71,000 people are living in NYC shelters nightly, including 22,511 children, up 82% from 10 years ago. That does not include the 5,000-plus men and women living on the street.
As an “essential service,” BFTS has been on the front lines since early March providing COVID-19 supplies to the homeless.
As an “essential service,” we are on the front lines of the pandemic providing COVID fighting supplies to the homeless.
The homeless are among the most vulnerable to infection; yet they are the least assisted.
BFTS is out there day and night during this crisis.
We are committed to assisting the homeless by providing COVID supplies, including hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, masks and gloves, along with our packs of food, toiletries and life necessities, during the pandemic.
But we can not do this without you.
Since launching in March 2018, Backpacks For The Street has given more than 8,500 backpacks, including more than 4,000 during the Coronavirus pandemic, 12,000-plus feminine hygiene products and Mylar blankets and over 2,000 meals to the homeless and hungry.
Most days, many homeless people often feel invisible. But since COVID there has been an added ugliness of discrimination and hate towards the homeless because of their ethnicity and circumstances.
BFTS has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind, and helps all who are in need, regardless of race, religion, politics, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“HOMELESS. NOT HOPELESS.” That’s how 19-year old Ben described himself to us when we met him on New York City’s UWS during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. He’s been living on the street for more than a year and refuses to give up hope.
“Has COVID killed kindness?” his sign asks? Fortunately, as he noted, we proved it has not.
“DIDN’T THINK ANYONE CARED!” So said Kai, who’s brimming smile said it all when he not only everything inside the backpack, especially the snacks: “I’m all about those snacks.”
But what really moved him and made the biggest difference was the COVID supplies.
“You guys are life savers. Seriously, thank you.”