According to a recent New York Times article, "There are an estimated 3,900 unsheltered homeless people living around New York City, according to the latest figures from 2017, a 40 percent increase over the previous year."
In response, we want to share an opportunity with all of our volunteers to come alongside us for Don't Walk By, an annual street outreach event to homeless New Yorkers each February, now in its tenth year. Don't Walk By is a project of the Rescue Alliance, a coalition of faith-based organizations, including The Salvation Army, engaged in addressing homelessness and housing fragility.
Each Saturday in February, in one of four sections of Manhattan per Saturday (uptown, eastside, westside, and downtown), volunteer teams walk the streets and subways of an assigned area engaging with homeless neighbors they may encounter distributing small items (eg. hygiene kits, clean socks, etc.) and extending an invitation to dinner at an anchor church. If accepted, guests are offered a van trip to the church.
At the anchor church, guests are provided a dignified sit-down dinner (eg. tablecloths, centerpieces, printed menus, servers, etc.). Every guest is invited to spend the evening housed in a Rescue Alliance member/partner shelter (eg. NYC Rescue Mission, All Angels' Church). Our hope is that accepting this offer will lead to longer-term case management, the end goal being life-transformation that includes dignity, stable housing, independence, and, where needed, sobriety.
In addition to a meal and invitation to shelter, other services provided at the anchor church include:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit sign-up
Distribution of backpacks, winter coats, SafeLink cell phones, and other items
Medical services including HIV testing, optometry w/ free glasses, podiatry, blood pressure checks, etc.
Referrals to detox, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and mental health services
This year, The Salvation Army is the lead coordinator of this outreach working with multiple Rescue Alliance members/partners (eg. Bowery Mission, Hope For New York, NYC Relief, New York Presbyterian Hospital, etc.) each taking lead over several included functions.
You can be part of this opportunity to support our homeless neighbors through multiple volunteer roles (eg. street team member or leader, driver, driver's assistant, hosts, table hosts, runners, servers). Below are registration links for each Saturday:
Feb 3 - Downtown Outreach at NY Chinese Alliance Church
Feb 10 - Westside Outreach at Calvary Baptist Church
Feb 17 - Eastside Outreach at Fifth Ave Presbyterian Church
Feb 24 - Uptown Outreach at Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps
We hope that you consider joining in this important work.
- People Skills
Good Match For
People 55+ Group
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- One Day, 5 hours