Group hands out backpack full of supply against COVID to NYC’s homeless

  • A non-profit group is working double time in order to help the homeless people of New York who are vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Backpacks For The Street gives out backpacks containing essentials, hygiene kits, and protective equipment
  • They said they are working day in and day out to reach out to as many people as they can

Jeffrey Newman and husband Jayson Conner founded Backpacks For The Street (BFTS), a non-profit organization aiming to provide backpacks containing essentials like food, water, and toiletries to homeless people, two years ago.

Image via BFTS

With the threat of COVID-19 all over the world, the two, along with other volunteers knew they had to work double time to reach as many people in need as they can.

“New York’s homeless are probably one of the most vulnerable communities out there and they’re getting the least amount of help,” Newman told Good Morning America.

Data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development show that there are 78,604 homeless people in New York in 2019. New York City Department of Social Services said there are already 657 confirmed cases among the homeless, with 52 deaths.

One of the people BFTS helped out told them that they felt as if they have been left to die because they have not received assistance since COVID-19 started.

Image via BFTS

“There’s a lot of fear out there about staying in shelters and many people living on the streets don’t have access to the Internet or television so they’re not up to date on the latest information,” Newman said.

The team has so far given out 1,200 backpacks in the past three weeks. They added COVID-19 protection essentials like masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and wipes in the bags.

“We had a guy on Sunday that’s normally a taxi cab driver. He told us he had no other choice but to stop since there was no business and now, he is living on the street because no one would get in his car.”

“BFTS is out there day and night during this pandemic,” the group assured.

Sources: BFTS, Good Morning America