Backpacks For The Street

A grassroots movement to bring compassion and dignity to the streets, and make the lives of the homeless better.


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.

Since March 2018, Backpacks For The Street, a 501(c)3 public charity, has given out more than 3,320 backpacks, 17,000 feminine hygiene products, 9,000 Mylar blankets and over 1,500 meals to the homeless and hungry.

New York Heatwave Is Coming

While the heat wave is an inconvenience for many New Yorkers, it can pose significant dangers for the thousands of homeless people living on the streets or in shelters without air-conditioning. Here are some resources to stay cool and safe during the heat...

What Do WE Look Like

hat does a homeless person look like to you? Is it the person sitting in a cardboard box under a bridge, possibly with a dog, usually with a sleeping bag and little else to protect them from the elements? Someone with their worldly...

What NOT To Say

There are many ways to approach and talk to someone living on the streets. But there are just as many ways that you could offend or say something that is negative. homeless person: "spare change?" "Sorry- all I've got are 20s" If they ask if you if you...

Open A Dialogue

The definition of homelessness is the circumstance when people are without a permanent dwelling, such as a house & or apartment. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing due to a...

Pay it Forward

This is Shah Jahan, a Muslim immigrant who I met Christmas Eve when I was giving out backpacks to the homeless. I had one backpack left when I met him. And, he was SO excited to get the backpack because he had no gloves. His fingers were literally turning...

Fight to Help Those in Need Continues

While BFTS welcomes holiday donations, we want to remind people that we operate year round and donations are always open. Without the generosity of kind hearts, we would not be able to do what we do.The reality is our program, and other programs that help...

2019 Recognized Holidays

Why is it that people generally volunteer only on Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years? Even if you volunteer for the holidays on the list it still isn't enough. Why not got to a soup kitchen or food pantry to volunteer say once a month. Or walk...

2019 Is Going To Be Huge!

2019 Is Going To Be Huge For Backpacks For The Street! Within the new year, BFTS is going to become a much bigger force, helping the homeless population. The dream is to supply the people on the streets and in shelters with guided help making their lives better bit by...

Ways To Help

Here are a few suggestions and ways that all of us can help. And not all require putting out money or being inconvenienced:1. See the person, not the stereotype, and make a human connection. People who are homeless -- on the street and in shelters -- are...

Number Of Backpacks

SHOP our Amazon Wish List and help us provide food and necessities to those in need.


2019 Amount Funded

DONATE NOW! 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes to help the homeless.

Volunteers Slots Open

VOLUNTEER! Register for our upcoming events or become an ambassador.

We first met Jonathan in August 2018, shortly after he’d found himself homeless on the streets. FOX 5 / featured him in its profile of us and the work we do. He spoke about how our efforts gave him hope.

It was a tough go for Jonathan for a while. He struggled hard trying to survive life.

Today Jonathan is going on five months sober, starting his own business and looking happier and healthier than we’ve seen him in a long time.

THIS makes our hearts full, and what is what it’s all about.

“Homeless and HUMILIATED.” That’s what Kenny’s sign said when we met him. It broke my heart at first because NO ONE should ever feel humiliated because of their circumstances.

Now a BFTS client, we spent some time getting to know this smart and charming young man, who was simply down on his luck, to let him there’s no shame in needing help or being homeless.

The look on his face of both surprise and gratitude is everything.

To see others like Jonathan and Kenny, and more of the work we do, visit our:

Instagram @backpacksforthestreet, and follow us on Facebook @backpacksforthestreet!

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