20.02.2019 17:11

Homelessness is at Its Highest Levels in NYC Since the Great Depression


NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City Relief, a 501(c)(3) organization serving the homeless population in New York City and New Jersey, announced that today marks its 30 year anniversary of providing hope and resources to people on the streets of New York City. NYC Relief also announced its year-long plan to celebrate and thank its lifetime of volunteers and donors for supporting people struggling with homelessness.

Homelessness has reached the highest levels in New York City since the Great Depression. New York City saw a 2.8% increase in the homeless population from 2017 to 2018, with 78,676 people reported homeless last year.

More than 63,000 people will sleep in shelters tonight, and that includes as many as 23,000 school-aged children. That doesn't count the thousands that will sleep on the streets and in subways. Each "number" represents an individual – a person with a story, and a unique set of needs and circumstances.   

And for 30 years and counting, NYC Relief has been making space at their table as a beacon of hope and resources to people searching for life transformation, with successful outreach models that are based on mobility and consistency.

Founder Richard Galloway says, "People like myself who were once addicted are now free and alive, and spend their days serving and loving others. We came thinking we could 'give something' to help the poor and homeless folks, but our real discovery is that the poor are not a problem to be solved, but rather a portal to the very heart of God."

"In order to break out of homelessness, people in crisis need access to relationships and vital resources," said President and CEO Juan Galloway. "Many times people living on the streets are so burdened with the task of daily survival that they don't have the capacity to figure out where to go and what to do in order to get back on their feet to become self-sustaining again. That's where we come in with the connections they need."

NYC Relief has established two basic models for their service to the homeless:

Relief Bus

NYC Relief's Relief Buses are mobile care centers where volunteers serve homemade soup & bread, distribute hygiene kits, host Life Care Visits, and pray for the needs of our friends on the street. By setting up tables & chairs on the sidewalk, the organization creates an intentional space that welcomes guests and invites conversation over a shared meal.

Relief Co-op

In 2017, NYC Relief launched the Relief Co-Op, which is a partnership with other nonprofits providing direct services. With this model, teams go to locations where the homeless population is already congregating and hold Life Care Visits while guests wait for immediate services. 

What makes NYC Relief distinctive:

  • NYC Relief ensures that as they serve soup and bread, there is a sense of community and dignity, by providing tables and chairs for both the served, and the servers, to chat and share and be together.
  • Life Care Visits are one-on-one meetings, during which the NYC Relief team provides hope and resources through individualized action plans. NYC Relief staff and volunteers provide hope — by listening, encouraging and praying with friends who are struggling — and then resources — by connecting guests to emergency shelter, job programs, detox or drug rehabilitation. 
  • Then, there is immediate follow-through for those who are ready to receive help for factors contributing to or perpetuating homelessness, from addiction to mental health issues to finding a warm place to sleep.

Some additional facts about NYC Relief:

  • NYC Relief will expand the number of outreaches they operate from 8 to 20 over the next 6 years, covering every borough of New York City. Currently they operate weekly outreaches located in the Bronx, Harlem, Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Newark, NJ.
  • NYC Relief partners with more than 250 organizations around NYC and NJ, so when there is a need to make a referral, there is always someone who can help.
  • More than 96,500 volunteers and donors have served, and have been served by, the homeless community since NYC Relief's founding in 1989. 
  • Over 456,000 one-on-one connections have been made with people searching for hope and resources.
  • More than 7,260,000 cups of food and drink have been served.
  • In the past 10 years, NYC Relief has connected people from the street to over 11,700 resources.

What NYC Relief is doing to mark this important anniversary:

  • The signature event will be a Block Party over the summer, in a neighborhood they serve, to celebrate with friends on the street and raise awareness among partners, press, politicians and potential new donors and volunteers.   
  • Reverend Juan Galloway, President and CEO of New York City Relief will release his latest book, Provoked: How To Love Relentlessly And Do Beautiful Works That Make You And Others Come Alive, which explores 14 years of compelling stories from the streets to reveal how the unconditional love of God transforms both givers and receivers as they journey together.
  • On April 30th, NYC Relief's annual gala will honor volunteers and donors at The Lighthouse, a beautiful waterfront venue overlooking the Hudson River, located at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
  • Reverend Juan Galloway will speak at over 20 conferences and churches across the tri-state area in 2019
  • Vice President of Outreach Josiah Haken has launched a series of dinner and discussion workshops in partnership with All Angels' Church called Understanding & Responding to Our Homeless Neighbors, which explores various factors leading to homelessness.  

NYC Relief, founded in 1989, is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey and currently serving in the NYC neighborhoods of the Bronx, Harlem, Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Newark. NYC Relief is a member of the Rescue Alliance and an affiliate of Hope for New York. Please check out our website for more information and email us with any questions, and to get involved:

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SOURCE New York City Relief

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