As fall turns to winter in New York City, we feel lucky to retreat to a warm and cozy home every night. However, there are too many people in the city who aren't so fortunate.
The Coalition for the Homeless works tirelessly to comfort the 37,000 people, including 14,000 children, who have nowhere to go every evening. Shockingly, 60% of all homeless New Yorkers are in Manhattan.
The heartbreaking situation also brings to light the huge number of pets who are also left to fend for themselves and have nowhere to go. The Humane Society states that there are seven dogs and cats for each baby born in the U.S. every day. Of all of these pets, only one in five will live in their home for their entire lives, while the other four out of five will either end up in a shelter or, tragically, homeless, living in the streets. According to the Humane Society, there are at least 6 million pets who go into shelters each year, and 3 million of them are ultimately euthanized.
There's no time to waste, though, and the Coalition has celebrity friends to help them raise funding and awareness to their programs that they offer, including crisis intervention, job training, and summer camp and after school programs for children. Their annual ArtWalk was hosted by Alec Baldwin, Richard Gere, and Cary Lowell, and honored legendary artist James Rosenquist.
The Coalition's supporters are famous not only for their talent, but for looking out for the little guy or girl! Richard Gere and Cary Lowell are devout animal lovers, caring for several horses on their farm. They're also the proud parents of Billie, Border Collie/ Corgi breed named after jazz singer Billie Holliday. Artist James Rosenquist is even famous for painting "Dog Descending a Staircase" in 1979!
Gossip Girl star Matthew Settle lives on 7th Avenue in New York City, and he's come to know several homeless people in his neighborhood. "There's my friend Jeffrey who is near my building. He's 48 years old, and he's from Memphis. I've taken him under my wing, and we've actually become really good friends. I look out for him."
His Gossip costar, Zuzanna Szadkowski, remembers a lot of the Coalition's success stories: "I have met so many women who are no longer homeless, and the Coalition made such a huge difference in their lives. They've completed their programs, and they set such an example for all of us with their courage and determination. They're the ultimate success stories." Talk about good gossip!
The Coalition needs your help, too. In order to continue giving people in every neighborhood not a hand- out, but a hand- up, we need to show our support- every little bit counts. And don't forget about all those puppies and kitties who are waiting for you to make room in your home for them- they're waiting for someone to snuggle with as the temperature drops!
Show your support to this amazing organization and donate your time or money. For more information, please visit coalitionforthehomeless.org. For more information about adopting a pet in your area, please visit humanesociety.org.
For more information on Wendy and Lucky Diamond, please visit www.animalfair.com.