January 2, 2016
ACS “Close to Home” Teens Help Warm up the Homeless
At 9:30 AM on Saturday, January 2nd, four young men and three staffers from the Administration for Children’s Services’ 128th Street “Close to Home” non-secure placement facility in Ozone Park, Queens, started off the New Year by hitting the streets and giving away footwear to homeless New Yorkers.
In collaboration with “It’s From the Sole,” a non-profit which supplies homeless individuals with new socks and gently worn sneakers, Ed Michel, the group leader at the residence run by ACS contracted provider SCO Family of Services, led our youth to Union Square, Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
About the event, Ed Michel says, “I always feel adjudicated youth get the back end of the stick…Media and press always highlight the negative…Yes, they make poor decisions, but they also do great things…This is what we need…for more non-profits to give these people a chance, an opportunity to do things…”
This inspirational event took place after Andre McDonnell, founder of It’s from The Sole, spoke at one of the facility’s “First Monday” events in October. McDonnell spoke about the growing homeless population and the work his organization does to provide quality, clean shoes for the homeless.
“It was good to see young kids who love the sneaker culture…give up the sneaker culture to help the homeless…They were actually tying the shoes for the homeless. It was incredible!,” said McDonnell. “There was one homeless gentleman with only tape on his feet…no socks, no shoes, no sneakers…When the kids saw that, it touched them. And those kids ran and gave him sneakers…”
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