NEW YORK (PIX11) — At St. Bartholomew’s Church in Midtown, the non-profit “Coalition For The Homeless” loads up vans full of food to distribute each night, part of what they call their “Grand Central Food Program.”
Juan De La Cruz is the organizer for the program. He said that not everyone they serve is homeless, but that everyone they serve has a need.
We went along for a ride for part of one of their Manhattan routes, and saw, like we did last winter, the need is still there.
Fernell High has been a volunteer for 20 years. He drove our van.
At their stop on 34th St. near the FDR Drive, people were waiting on this particularly cold night, lined up for food. People were also waiting at the stop in Chinatown. De La Cruz told us people are familiar with their stops.
To help the homeless, a spokesperson for DHS says each day, the city has outreach teams in every borough working around the clock.
In July, DHS took over responsibility for street outreach services in all 468 subway stations.
According to the city, more than 58,000 people slept in a shelter each night this week, and homeless numbers have been steadily rising over the past decade. The coalition is trying to help.
A spokesperson for DHS told us that if someone is concerned about someone on the street who may be homeless and in need of assistance they should call 311. The city will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual’s condition and take appropriate action.
If the person looks like they’re in distress, people should call 911 immediately, a spokesperson said.