The people who make up New York City are of all walks of life. Apartment buildings are filled with artists, students, lawyers, doctors, construction workers, the list goes on. Every day individuals of different social classes, professions, and attitudes head to work typically passing by at least one individual who doesn’t have a home.
I am one of the working class folk. I go to work, come home, and on my typical day pass by at least six homeless people. I work in midtown Manhattan, so I cover a lot of area and often see the same individuals on a subway staircase or designated street corner. I may be one step ahead of the average citizen in that I notice their existence, but I’m unfortunately someone who doesn’t do much more than that. I have empathy and I keep walking.
Six NYU students couldn’t just keep walking. Isaac Marshall along with Josh Dean, Mimi Doan, Paula Ho, Ian Beckman Reagan, and Ian Beckman Reagan turned helplessness into action and formed Hakook.
Hakook’s mission is to deliver crucial resources to New Yorkers forced to live on the streets. Rather than blind charity work, Hakook connects with individuals to try and find out what resources they truly need. They surveyed over 100 street homeless and got the specifics. Among the list of essentials were socks, tampons and pads, winter coats, and Mylar blankets. They’ve built partnerships as well as received donations in order to deliver on all of these needs. Four times a week, teams make deliveries to people directly on the streets.
By delivering requested items in person, Hakook team members are able to develop trusted relationships as well as learn more about the conditions of the shelters in NYC. Shelters have huge wait lists and often leave individuals and their families with no other choice.
Hakook would like to one day hire a formerly or currently homeless person to lead volunteer teams and distribution efforts. They also aim to co-author policy recommendations with people who live on the street and also share their stories to highlight the issue. In order to be able to do so as well as make these potentially life saving deliveries possible, they need your help!
$5 is the magic price. You can choose to do a monthly donation, weekly, or daily. You’ll get updates on how your donations are helping empower the less fortunate. Visit their website, like them on Facebook, and connect with them to spread their mission and service to your hometown.