NYC charity gives backpacks to homeless

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BACKPACKS FOR THE STREET FOUNDER, JEFFREY NEWMAN, SAYING:

"The thing about backpacks is it gives people hope. It's not going to cure homelessness by any means, and that's why we're very big on solutions and we have a whole other element of what we do that are about the solutions and helping people get off the street."

These volunteers are packing backpacks for the homeless

including items like first aid kits, water, socks, toothpaste and snacks

Location: New York City

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BACKPACKS FOR THE STREET FOUNDER, JEFFREY NEWMAN, SAYING:

"Our first two years, we did about 6,000, 7,000 backpacks combined. Since March of 2020, we've done 22,500 backpacks."

Nearly 80,000 people are homeless in New York City

Source: The Bowery Mission

John Sidial has been homeless since October 2020

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOMELESS SINCE OCTOBER 17, 2020, JOHN SIDIAL, SAYING:

"These guys, they help me out because all the necessities that I don't have, that I need, they will supply it for me. I've been walking around with sneakers with no laces, they're dirty, for about two weeks now. And I can't afford another pair of sneakers because $10 a day only supplies me with maybe a meal."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOMELESS FOR FOUR YEARS, RICHARD THOMAS, SAYING:

"Without y'all, we wouldn't be with all this good stuff y'all got to share, with stuff that we need, to make it through the day."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BACKPACKS FOR THE STREET FOUNDER, JEFFREY NEWMAN, SAYING:

"We may not die financially the richest guys in the world, but in other ways, we're going to die richer than other people could ever hope for. And I sleep well at night because of what we do. And of course, I don't sleep well at night because of what we do, because I worry about these guys."

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