Helping Homeless Women - NYC

$16,950 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 380 people in 29 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.

***

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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Hello all! March has been a very productive month for me in terms of my outings, but is definitely lagging by way of contributions. January was the worst donation month in the 2.5-year history of this project. Things swung nicely upwards in February (thank you). But we’re trending down again. So, please feel free to shift momentum during March’s final week!

If you wish to streamline your support, you can do so by signing up to give a specific monthly amount at Patreon (link below). Your donation happens automatically on the first of each month. You don’t have to remember anything and I get a very useful advance idea of my monthly budget: https://www.patreon.com/helphomelesswomen

Also, as always, please consider ordering something from my Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG

Lastly, it would be awesome if you regularly shared all the above links and info to help widen my donor base! Thanks in advance… <3
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Another very productive outing today - including yet another new face. Also, I have an anecdote/teaching moment to share.

As I crossed a street to reach one of my regulars, I saw a man talking to her. When I arrived, I noticed he was giving the women some lollipops - promising to return with money “next time.” I said hello to the woman and placed down the supplies I had for her.

The man ignored me as he pointed at the woman’s sign - which explained that she had escaped an abusive relationship. “I don’t wanna tell you my problems,” the man lied, “but…” He promptly started telling a story about how his wife allegedly abused him.

At this point, instead of moving on, I positioned myself closer to the man. He mumbled a bit more, said goodbye, and wandered away. “Thank you,” the woman said to me. I replied: “I wasn’t gonna leave until he did. He seemed weird.”

“That’s because he was weird!” she added and we shared a laugh. I waited for a little longer until she felt safe and then continued on my outing. And yes, I did urge her to throw out the lollipops!

Moments like this are not uncommon for me. It’s just another way I can live up to this project’s name. In addition, it’s a useful reminder that we men must channel our unearned privilege into productive action. Challenging patriarchy is not about becoming a “cuck” or “beta.” The way I see it, since we men had privilege and power unquestioningly bestowed upon us at birth, why not find ways to wield such power to flip the social dynamic?

Anyway, thanks for enabling me to be out there, doing my best. Please keep the donations flowing and don’t forget my Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG
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During a very productive outing yesterday, I gave out another sleeping bag and I added a new regular to my ever-evolving list. Also, the longest of my long-term regulars (T) was excited to share with me a story of how she stood up to the latest round of NYPD harassment. She has had a steady panhandling spot for many months - maybe a year. But cops will still randomly approach as if she just showed up. They brusquely threaten to take her stuff, to give her a summons, and to even arrest her. As she put it, “What is it, Pick-on-Me Day?”

This time, after T stood down the street cops, a sergeant was called in. He was also no match for the wisdom and strength T has garnered during her time on the streets. She knows her rights and she’s well aware, as she told me, “They target us women because they expect us to comply without question.” Left with no legal recourse, the sergeant desperately pointed to a shopping cart T uses to move her belongings. “You know,” he actually said, “I could take you in right now for petty larceny for possessing stolen property.”

T laughed out loud. “Is that all you have to do?” she asked. “You know and I know that any judge would toss you out on your ass if you wasted his time with a charge like that. Isn’t there something more important you could be doing?”

With that, the sergeant and the cops wandered off and T was left to remain in her regular spot. After she had acted out the entire story for me, I told her that I hoped the rest of her day would get much better.

“Oh no,” she corrected me, smiling through her thick Southern accent, “my day has been great so far. I got to put a police sergeant in his place. He had to walk off and admit I was right.”

This is just a tiny sampling of what vulnerable women endure 24/7 and a tiny sampling of how smart, resilient, and badass they are! I’m blessed to know someone like T and every day, I wish for the time when she regains full control of her life.

Thanks for helping me help women like T.

Options:
GoFundMe: http://bit.ly/2rKSb39
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/helphomelesswomen
Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG
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Before I leave for today’s outing, I’ll leave you with these simple words from Dorothy Day: “If you have two coats, one of them belongs to the poor.”

P.S.
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/helphomelesswomen
Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG
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Read a Previous Update
Julie Merriman Chickering
6 months ago

The snack pack you recently added to your wish list, Amazon wont deliver to the wish list address. You may want to swap it out for something else.

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Mary St Anczyk
10 months 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
24 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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$16,950 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 380 people in 29 months
Created October 16, 2016
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$10
Anonymous
11 hours ago
$60
Anonymous
3 days ago
$10
Anonymous
22 days ago
$15
Anonymous
25 days ago
AF
$50
Anne-Laure Fayard
1 month ago

In memory of your mother and for all the comfort you've provided to homeless women in NYC

AC
$200
Allyn Creel
1 month ago

In memory of your Mum. All the best.

Julie Merriman Chickering
6 months ago

The snack pack you recently added to your wish list, Amazon wont deliver to the wish list address. You may want to swap it out for something else.

+ Read More
Mary St Anczyk
10 months 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
24 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.

+ Read More
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