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Midnight Run to Provide Relief to the Homeless
Number of Homeless on the Increase in the City
9/10/2008 - The Campus Ministry at the College of Mount Saint Vincent will be joining in the Midnight Run relief effort for the homeless beginning on Wednesday, September 10. The Midnight Run is an organization that holds over 900 relief missions per year. Mount students will be preparing and delivering sandwiches, providing toiletries, collecting and distributing coats and blankets to the homeless around the city.  This will be the first Run of the ongoing scheduled weekly Runs that take place throughout the school year.  The number of homeless is on the rise the city.  On any given night in New York City, some 30,000 people stay in city shelters, a number that includes some 8,000 families with children. 

The College has participated in the Midnight Run organization for over 15 years.  What began as an honoring for Founder’s Day occurring only once a year eventually evolved into a weekly event.  On average a dozen or more students participate in the Run each week.  “The Midnight Run puts young people in relation to those who society tells us to look beyond,” says Sister Cecilia Harriendorf, head of Campus Ministry. “We not only provide food and blankets but also form friendships and engage in conversation with them.”

Through the Midnight Run organization, volunteers from churches, synagogues, schools and other civic groups distribute much needed personal items to the homeless and poor on the streets of Manhattan.  The Midnight Run is not a solution to homelessness.  The goal is to forge a bond between housed and homeless people by establishing a foundation of sharing and caring from which solutions may evolve. Through Midnight Run, volunteers come to see the homeless as real people, not a commodity.  The Midnight Run also offers the homeless and poor an extremely rare opportunity to be selective about what they wear and what they eat.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is failing at his goal to reduce the homeless population by two-thirds before he leaves office next year, according to a report released Thursday which said the number of homeless families in city shelters has actually increased.

For more information about how to participate please contact the Campus Ministry at 718-405-3229. To learn more about the Midnight Run organization, please visit www.midnightrun.org.