According to statistics from the Coalition for the Homeless, more than 23,000 homeless youth sleep in shelters in New York City each night. That number makes up more than a third of the city’s total homeless population.
Hoodies for the Homeless was begun in 2015 to help bring awareness about homeless youth to the general public. It was also created as an organization that could do fundraising to help alleviate the suffering of thousands of homeless youths.
Tavis Sage and his band PushMethod founded Hoodies for the Homeless last year and performed a series of concerts. Tickets were free to anyone who contributed a hoodie.
Five hundred hoodies were collected in just three hours before the band’s first performance.
PushMethod partnered with Coalition for the Homeless to distribute the clothing, and a year later, they’ve tallied over 5,000 donated hoodies.
This year, Sage has added a new strategy to help build awareness about the housing crisis for youth.
He’s recruiting street and tattoo artists and giving each one a mannequin. Eighteen mannequins were donated to each artist. Each artist painted one mannequin. Each mannequin represents 3,333 homeless individuals. Each mannequin will occupy a sidewalk throughout the city. Each mannequin will be holding up cardboard sign with information about Hoodies for the Homeless.
What will be done with the mannequins eventually is still up in the air, but Sage is considering auctioning them off, dividing the proceeds between the Coalition for the Homeless and the individual artists.
“What we did, we created kind of this platform that makes it fun and easy to help,” Sage said. He would like his movement to expand via artist channels across the entire country.