HUMAN.NYC BEGAN WITH A BROAD GOAL OF HELPING STREET HOMELESS FOLKS.
We asked people what they needed they weren’t often receiving. They talked to us about the need for socks, tampons and pads, and winter coats. So, we partnered with other businesses and nonprofits to receive those items, we build a team of volunteers to distribute them, and we hit the streets.
It didn’t take long before our conversations with folks reached a deeper level.
Concerning trends began to arise: people told us they felt safer on the streets than in the shelters and about the bureaucracy they faced before being offered any form of housing.
Our team felt compelled to switch gears, shifting our focus from distributing items to policy and advocacy. But our methodology never changed. It was and always will be about listening to people who are homeless. Put simply, they know homelessness better than anyone else.
We learned how to ask the right questions to really get at the nuances of what was keeping folks on the streets. We identified the shelters that were driving people away from the shelter system, we learned about a process where people who already feel invisible need to be “sighted” multiple times to get a case manager, and we heard how difficult it is to meet the city’s 9-months of living on the streets requirement for transitional or permanent housing.
After two years of hearing people’s stories, we have identified the gaps between how the system was supposed to work and how people are experiencing it, and compiled the evidence we needed to make a compelling case for reform.
We’ve now launched Human.nyc, an advocacy resource for anyone looking to help our street homeless neighbors secure housing.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]more » « less