Helping Homeless Women - NYC

$13,865 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 319 people in 21 months
The goal of this project is fundamental: I'm raising money to buy supplies I can hand out in person to homeless women in NYC.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you give out?

Here’s a sampling: food (way too many examples to list - please ask me for specifics), water, juice, pads, tampons, wet wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, combs, brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, make-up, nail polish, perfume, jewelry, towels, nail clippers, water bottles and thermos, hair ties and clips, mirrors, deodorant, sewing kits, chapstick, sunscreen, band-aids, ACE bandages, hoodies, jackets, coats, sweatshirts, thermals, shirts, socks, underwear, tank tops, shoes, boots, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, hats, bandannas, scarves, gloves, hand warmers, toe warmers, pocketbooks, tote bags, backpacks, purses, fanny packs, sketch pads, art supplies, pens, notebooks, journals, cortisone cream, nose spray, blankets, books, magazines, newspapers, Q tips, earplugs, sleep masks, umbrellas, rain ponchos, cat food, dog food, pet toys and supplies. Also: smiles, friendship, respect, trust, reliability, consistency, compassion, hugs, non-judgmental listening, conversation, companionship, validation, and more.

Do you give out money?

No. Sure, if some homeless women will only accept some coins or a couple of bills in their cup, I’ll do that. Otherwise, I focus on handing out the direct relief supplies listed above. As I get to know each woman better, I can be more targeted and specific in my giving.

Can I make material donations?

Yes, please! At least half of the donations so far have been in material form. But please note: I am a one-man operation and must carefully gauge how to best utilize my time and energy. Therefore, I will request that you drop off any large donations and otherwise meet me in a mutually agreeable location. For an idea of what I accept, read the list above or just reach out to me and ask!

Do you use all the donated money to buy supplies?

Yes. The only money that is allocated elsewhere is what I use for a monthly unlimited Metrocard so I can cover all the ground I do each day.

Why help homeless women?

I invite you to watch this 4-minute video .

***

Thank you in advance for your donations and for spreading the word. This is a collective project so let's team up to offer some temporary relief for women in need.
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Dorothy Day once said: “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us.” 

I spent many years as an “activist” - chasing a mythical “revolution.” Finally, now, I’ve found my place in a “revolution of the heart.” I’m a slow learner…what can I say?

You may wonder what *you* can do, what part can *you* play in this revolution of the heart. Once again, let’s ask Ms. Day: “You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right.” 

If it’s joy and purpose and mission and love that all add up to point us to our proper vocation, I know I’ve found mine. But…please don’t waste any energy to praise me. Instead, assign that energetic output towards discovering and living out YOUR part. After all, as Dorothy Day insisted: “Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily.”

Thanks for your support and your future support. Thanks, mostly, for caring enough to find new and ever-more-useful ways to make a difference in the daily lives of those within your reach.
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This one goes out to all those friends and acquaintances who stepped up with donations and support in the early days of this project…but haven’t been heard from since. It’s as if the novelty of this work has worn off? I sometimes actually get questions like, “Are you still looking for donations?”

Please allow me to clarify: This is an ONGOING mission - not a one-time fundraiser. “Support” means much more than a once. The women I help aren’t in need of a singular relief effort. This isn’t a temporary crisis for which we can change our profile pic colors and share a petition. Every single day, my “regulars” wake up and start from scratch.

This project began on Oct. 16, 2016, and has grown ever since. Sure, financial donations are often few and far between, but I’m now much better at making the most of my money and material contributions. I’m out on the streets on a regular basis - always extending my reach to new areas and connecting with homeless women I'd previously never met.

So, if it’s been a long while since you kicked in some cash, I’m asking you to make your presence felt NOW - in a big way. You can streamline things by signing up to give a specific monthly donation at Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/helphomelesswomen

But, easiest of all is to click on the GoFundMe link and make a healthy donation ASAP. After that, share the link with others who have the means to help.

Thanks again. I look forward to hearing from everyone - including those who’ve been silent for all of 2018. <3
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C was one of my first “regulars” - back in late 2016. We talked a lot and over time, became friends. She was the homeless woman interviewed with me for the April 2016 PIX11 “change maker” segment. By summer 2017, C got off the streets for a while. Right around the same exact time, I met G in another part of the city. She's my most talkative regular and we quickly became friends.

For a variety of reasons, C is back on the streets now. I’d seen her around lately as she looked for a new “spot.” By fascinating coincidence, C made her way to G’s part of town. They inevitably met and bonded as friends and, well, neighbors. Now, when I go to that area of Manhattan, I know I’ll encounter them both!

Of course, I dream of the day when both G and C have homes of their own but, for now, it’s comforting to know they have each other for conversation, protection, and sharing supplies.

Thank you for helping me help women like C, G, and so many dozens more!
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The heat wave continues...

When I left my apartment building, I was wearing a huge backpack, a large fanny pack, and carrying another bag of supplies. The hazy heat hit me as soon as I got outside and it was instant demoralization. On top of that, the plantar fasciitis in my left foot was acting up.

So, I'm trudging and limping on my 15-minute walk to the subway when I hear a car horn honking. It was D - a long time supporter of this project. As luck would have it, she was out running errands and noticed me. "I saw all the bags and I knew it had to be you," she explained.

D gave me a ride to the subway - AC blasting in her SUV - and my mood shifted in a flash. Before you know it, I was in Manhattan - in the midst of a super productive and meaningful outing on a day when the "real feel" temperature is 109 degrees!

FYI: Just this morning, D had donated 10 cans of dog food for the canine companions of the homeless women I help.

Who wants to join D by stepping up to help right now?
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Read a Previous Update
Mary St Anczyk
1 month ago

Not sure how you can ramp up donations. Mindset out there is if you want to help the homeless that donations should go directly to organizations whose work is to help on a higher level the needs of the homeless. With that though comes overhead and salaries which I am not a fan of. I try to support on a small scale and pocketbook, non-profit groups and persons like yourself who give service to homeless persons both here in Detroit and NYC who aren't working with overhead or salaries taking a chunk out of donations. If you can connect with a local group or groups to hold a fundraiser for your work either monetary or for in kind donations??

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Mary Stanzk
16 months ago

You are such a blessing to your homeless friends. Did not realize there was homeless women in NYC. On all my visits there I've only been aware of homeless men on the streets and in subways. I've managed to tick off quite a few native NYers when I visit because I like to walk slow and take in the sights, sounds and vibe when I am there. My daughter who lives there keeps reminding me that I have to walk faster or risk being mowed over. Definitely a very fast paced place.

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$13,865 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 319 people in 21 months
Created October 16, 2016
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$50
Anonymous
12 hours ago
$10
Anonymous
13 days ago
$15
Anonymous
14 days ago
$200
Anonymous
15 days ago
$25
Rich Alexandro
17 days ago

Much love, Mick!

$5
Anonymous
19 days ago
Mary St Anczyk
1 month ago

Not sure how you can ramp up donations. Mindset out there is if you want to help the homeless that donations should go directly to organizations whose work is to help on a higher level the needs of the homeless. With that though comes overhead and salaries which I am not a fan of. I try to support on a small scale and pocketbook, non-profit groups and persons like yourself who give service to homeless persons both here in Detroit and NYC who aren't working with overhead or salaries taking a chunk out of donations. If you can connect with a local group or groups to hold a fundraiser for your work either monetary or for in kind donations??

+ Read More
Mary Stanzk
16 months ago

You are such a blessing to your homeless friends. Did not realize there was homeless women in NYC. On all my visits there I've only been aware of homeless men on the streets and in subways. I've managed to tick off quite a few native NYers when I visit because I like to walk slow and take in the sights, sounds and vibe when I am there. My daughter who lives there keeps reminding me that I have to walk faster or risk being mowed over. Definitely a very fast paced place.

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