In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression, a rate 75 percent higher than ten years ago. The issue of homelessness has been the cornerstone of de Blasio’s re-election campaign. Tonight 62,000 New Yorkers will sleep in the city’s shelter system, among them more than 20,000 homeless children. With winter approaching, these communities are exposed to high winds and frigid temperatures, putting them at risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and even death.
While the homelessness epidemic continues to grow, there are numerous organizations around New York that tackle this crisis through advocacy work, direct response services, and public education. Organizations like the Bowery Mission, Coalition for the Homeless, Doe Fund, and God’s Love We Deliver, provide immeasurable aid to the city’s most vulnerable.
Coalition for the Homeless is the nation’s oldest organization fighting against homelessness, a misfortune that has sadly been rising over the last decade in the New York area. This problem concerns over 62,000 New Yorkers who sleep in the city’s shelter system every night, 20,000 of them being children. In efforts to raise funds and awareness to this issue, Coalition for the Homeless hosts the annual Artwalk Gala which unites New York’s philanthropic and artistic communities, providing leading artists with a platform to channel their creative efforts into aid.
For this edition, philanthropists Vincent and Shelly Fremont will be honored. This New York couple has been working in both the arts and social engagement for decades in this city, connecting dozens of artists and collectors to the Coalition’s network. It therefore comes as little surprise that they are honorees for an event that wishes to create a focus on the potential of artists as activists to raise money for the institution. As such the Fremont’s have helped organize an auction within the ArtWalk Gala, which will feature works by well-known artists such as Louise Fishman, Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol.
The funds gathered from the Art Walk NY Gala and the auction will not only help with the day-to-day running of this organization but to support the many homeless who come into the offices every day in search for help. Last years event raised over $750,000 which Coalition’s front line 11 program, providing emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training and youth services helping serve over 3,500 New Yorkers without a home. Hopefully, the 2017 Gala which will take place this coming November 29th will raise even more funds and will help spread awareness of the work that Coalition for the Homeless does for the homeless people of New York City.