Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge political leader urges residents to count homeless

Liam McCabe says his dad lived on the streets

February 2, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Liam McCabe (at podium) says the city’s Hope count is personal to him. Photo courtesy of McCabe

For Liam McCabe, the plight of the homeless is personal and poignant.

McCabe, founder of the Brooklyn South Conservative Club, said his late father, William McCabe, was a homeless veteran who lived on the streets of New York City. The older McCabe died nearly 10 years ago.

“This is an issue near and dear to my heart because my father, Willie McCabe, was a homeless veteran. Every winter I worried about his safety until the winter we lost him. I don’t want any other veterans to suffer the way he did,” said McCabe, an aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island).

To honor his father’s memory, McCabe established the Willie McCabe Memorial Run, a race to raise funds for veterans’ organizations. The first annual run took place Oct. 25, 2015, in Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge.

Another way residents can help homeless veterans is to volunteer to take part in the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, or HOPE, the city’s count of the homeless on the streets, which will take place on the night of Monday, Feb. 8, McCabe said.

HOPE was originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 25, but was postponed because the city was dealing with the clean-up from Winter Storm Jonas.

Conducted by the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), HOPE consists of volunteers who literally go out onto the streets, into the parks and into the subways and count the number of homeless people they see.

More than 3,000 have stepped forward to volunteer, according to officials.

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“To be able to help move homeless New Yorkers off the streets, we have to have accurate information about how many there are and where they are. This year’s strong interest in volunteering for the count displays New Yorkers’ great compassion for their street homeless neighbors. The city would be unable to conduct this large-scale survey each year without community members dedicating themselves to the cause,” Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks said in a statement.

In addition to his role as HRA commissioner, Banks is overseeing DHS in the wake of the resignation of former DHS commissioner Gilbert Taylor in December.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and willing to participate in the late night event. 

The count begins at 10 p.m.

McCabe, who plans to volunteer that night, is urging others to do the same. “Next Monday, volunteers across New York will take to the streets and calculate exactly how many people are living without homes so that we can properly allocate our resources to help these people. So please, join me on Feb. 8 so we can help some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” he said.

For information on how to volunteer, visit https://nychope.cityofnewyork.us.

 

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