- Special Projects
A shortage of coat donations amid the frigid winter has left some of the city’s most vulnerable residents without the bare necessities.
New York Cares is out of coats after distributing the last of its 75,000 stock on Feb. 6, according to Katherine Kientiz, a service events officer for the charity. That number fell far short of the 103,000 requests for coats that came from the 480 public and private groups to which New York Cares supplies outerwear, Kienitz added.
Hopes for winter coat miracles are brewing in a Midtown warehouse. That’s where New York Cares expects to process more than 100,000 winter coats in its annual winter coat drive, which kicks off Nov. 17.
New Yorkers can drop off coats at more than 300 locations across the city.
A neat stretch of row houses comes to an abrupt halt at 2247 Walton Ave., in the Bronx, where a boarded-up house warning of rat poison sits beside a fenced-in lot covered in dead grass and garbage. The site has remained empty for several years and has served as an effective backdrop for media events held by Picture the Homeless, an advocacy group headquartered nearby.
Throughout the Bloomberg administration, Picture the Homeless campaigned for the city to turn the thousands of vacant lots and buildings strewn across the boroughs into affordable housing for the city’s growing homeless population.
The group may now have a high-profile ally to champion its cause: Mayor Bill de Blasio.