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Volunteers from Catholic Charities of New York to Participate in 2020 HOPE Count

By Alice Garbarini Hurley

On Monday, January 27, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York staff and volunteers will join the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and hundreds of volunteers from around the metropolitan area to  canvass parks, subways and other public spaces to estimate the number of homeless in the five boroughs. DHS has led the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Count in the city since 2005.

Homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, based on Fulton Street. The source reports that in September 2019, there were 62,391 homeless people, including 14,962 homeless families with 22,083 homeless children, sleeping each night in the municipal shelter system. Families make up more than two-thirds of the homeless shelter population.

PANEL DISCUSSION KICKOFF

To mark the event, Catholic Charities New York will present a special panel  discussion at 8:30 PM before heading out to the streets for the homeless count, which begins at 10 PM.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities New York, will host the pre-count panel at the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, located at  325 East 33rd Street between First and Second avenues in Manhattan.  

The discussion will feature Catholic Charities experts who work with the homeless population—and one speaker who is currently homeless and another who was formerly homeless--to put a true face on the problem. The conversation will provide insights into the crisis and explore how Catholic Charities has reached out to help and provide shelter. Light refreshments will be served at the reception.

“For many New Yorkers, the homeless are observed but not really seen,” said Daniel Carinci, senior policy analyst, Catholic Charities of New York Government & Community Relations. “We want to better understand what would make somebody sleep on the street on one of the coldest nights of the year rather than take shelter. There are a number of unmet needs that prevent people from seeking housing, including fears they face.”

Carinci will walk the walk that night with Luz Tavarez, Director of Government & Community Relations at Catholic Charities New York.

“Luz and I will be out counting,” said Carinci. “She has done it for years, but this is my first time.” Volunteers work in pairs, and he added that city-sponsored vans with outreach teams are on the streets that night if homeless people choose to go to a shelter.

THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE HOPE COUNT

Visit http://bit.ly/HOPECT. Be sure to  select “Catholic Charities” for the answer to “How did you hear about HOPE?” Catholic Charities New York team leaders will be at locations in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.

To RSVP for the reception, call 646-794-3784 or email Luz Tavarez.