Crowds Line Up For Bowery Mission Coat Drive


BE OKAY. WITH THE COLD WEATHER HERE TO STAY FOR A WHILE, HUNDREDS OF NEW YORKERS WENT TO THE MISSION WHERE THEY WERE HANDING OUT FREE WINTER COATS. SO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP, THE MISSION NEEDED THE NYPD FOR CROWD CONTROL. Reporter: THE MISSION PASSES OUT 1,400 COATS TO THOSE IN NEED. IF THEY WEREN’T GIVING OUT COAT, I WOULD PROBABLY BE IN THE TRAIN STATION, PANHANDLING, TRYING TO MAKE SOME ENDS MEET. PROBABLY LOOKING IN A DUMPSTER FOR SOMETHING TO WEAR OR SOME THRIFT STORE. Reporter: THIS LINE, ALTHOUGH CROWDED PROVED TO BE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE FOR MANY OF THE PEOPLE STANDING IN IT. I’M HOMELESS, FIRST OF ALL, AND THE MISSION HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME. NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK OR SMELL, THEY SAY COME IN. Reporter: HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WAITED, MANY SHOWED UP AS EARLY AS 6:00 AM. THE COAT GIVEAWAY WAS SCHEDULED FOR 2:30 PM BUT KICKED OFF EARLY BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVE CROWD. WE KNEW WE’D HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE SHOW UP. WE DIDN’T EXPECT THEM TO SHOW UP SO EARLY. AND WE’RE GRATEFUL TO THE NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR COMING OUT AND HELPING US WITH THE LINE. Reporter: DOZENS OF OFFICERS MANNED THE DOORS AND KEPT THE LINE MOVING OUTSIDE. WHILE MANY FAMILIES FILED IN TO GET THEIR WINTER COATS, MANY SO GRATEFUL THEY WERE MOVED TO TEARS. NO ONE IN OUR CITY NEEDS TO BE HOMELESS. WE’RE INVITING PEOPLE TO A LONGER TERM LIFE RANGE. THE COAT IS THE FIRST STEP. Reporter: FOR MANY, THAT LIFE CHANGE IS ALREADY TOP OF MIND. I’M TRYING TO WORK MY WAY OUT OF THIS HOMELESSNESS.

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