Students, faculty, administrators, and support staff from the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work braved freezing temperatures from midnight until the wee hours of the morning on Monday last week to help New York City with its annual count of the number of homeless people living on the streets and offering to take them to shelters.

The evening marked the sixth consecutive year that the graduate school participated in the event, which draws thousands of volunteers from throughout the city to canvass parks, subways, and other public spaces as part of the New York City Department of Homeless Services Homeless Outreach Population Estimate.

“Participating in HOPE is aligned with Touro’s mission of tikkunolam,” said Professor Elhanan Marvit, MSW, LCSW, director of the Brooklyn learning site and administrative services at the graduate school. “It also raises our consciousness to the issues surrounding homelessness, and, as the city has noted, HOPE is critical to helping evaluate strategies to overcome street homelessness as well as appropriate housing resources for the most vulnerable New Yorkers living without shelter.”

MSW student Georgia Bancooten noted, “Participating in the annual HOPE 2015 count is about giving back to our community. I pass a young man with a cardboard sign and coffee cup asking for money and assistance every day outside our campus. This was our night to make an impact for the homeless in our city.”


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