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.
Backpacks For The Street, launched in March 2018, is much more than just backpacks. In addtion to thousands of meals we’ve provided to the homeless, we also work with the those we help to find housing and shelter, get public assistance and assist with getting connected with city programs, as well as job training, addiction recovery, HIV care and prevention and other tools to better their situation.
At BFTS we help all those who are dealing with homelessness regardless of race, religion, politics, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. We a has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind.
“HOMELESS. NOT HOPELESS.” That’s how 21-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.”