Another successful HOPE Count complete
SAVE THE DATE!
The 2014 HOPE Count will take place on the night of Monday, January 27th. Volunteer recruiting will begin in the month of December. Stay tuned. If you can’t wait to join us, please register as a volunteer using our general volunteer inquiry form. See you soon!
Late at night on January 28th, our Executive Director Brenda Rosen addressed a crowd of 100 volunteers and employees assembled in the lobby of the Times Square, “where it all began,” twenty-three years ago. Not only was the Times Square Common Ground’s first supportive housing residence, she explained, but it was in the basement of this building that the Street-to-Home outreach program was started in 1993.
Staff and volunteers were assembled to receive training before they headed out for the annual HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate) census. Each year, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services enlists thousands of volunteers to canvass parks, subways, and other public spaces to count the number of people living unsheltered in the city. Again this year, Common Ground partnered with the city to conduct the count in midtown Manhattan.
The night allowed volunteers to see a new side of homelessness and gave Common Ground employees who are not part of the outreach programs a chance to strengthen their ties to the organization’s mission. At midnight, twenty or so teams departed the Times Square, armed with clipboards and maps. As they walked their assigned areas, they stopped to approach any homeless individual they encountered, asked a few survey questions, offered shelter information, and continued on. By 2:30 a.m., teams began streaming back into the Times Square, cold and tired. They turned in their data, warmed up with a middle-of-the-night breakfast, and headed back home.
The information gathered during the HOPE Count is invaluable, as it helps us adjust our efforts to make the greatest possible impact on helping the chronically homeless to realize better lives. Results of the 2013 count will be issued in the spring.
You can see a full album of photos of the event on Facebook. Please be sure to like our page while you’re there!