This year will mark the third year in a row where I go homeless for one week and walk in the shoes of the homeless. So many of us take for granted having shelter; and having that shelter be clean, stable and absolute. But for many of our fellow New Yorkers, and for people all around the world, that basic right to shelter is not a reality.
This Ramadan, once again I’ll be going homeless for one week and raising money for this population. I will take to the take to the streets from August 21st – 27th in and around the Grand Central Station area of Manhattan. I will make a statement to remind us all of the little things that we take for granted, and more importantly encourage us to connect with the hundreds of people that live without the basic necessities.
Last fall my project was acknowledged on a blog called, Muslim Heroes. The blog exists to highlight individuals and projects that display how Islam can be and is compatible with American values. I never really thought of myself as a hero, but it felt good to be recognized among all of those leaders and activists in the Muslim community. It showed me how big of an impact one person can make by taking action and encouraging others to do so as well.
For 2011 project, I will be donating all the proceeds of the fundraiser to CAMBA.org, In the past two years I donated to two organizations that do great work for the homeless in the greater New York area.
This year, I want to support an organization that focuses on making a local, community-specific impact. CAMBA is a small organization that does that on a large scale. It is one of Brooklyn’s largest community-based social service organizations providing a wide range of services to more than 35,000 individuals and families each year. Homelessness and homelessness prevention are a major area of emphasis for CAMBA. It operates four emergency shelters that can house 497 single adults. In its flagstone residence, CAMBA can accommodate 59 families. Additionally, CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. – a subsidiary corporation dedicated to creating 1,000 new units of affordable, supportive housing – has 146 units fully occupied, and another 475 units in various stages of development. CAMBA’s Eviction Prevention unit serves 1,500 permanently housed families at risk of losing their homes through eviction.
Furthermore, they operate emergency shelter program which provides 300 to 400 units of scattered site housing for families. Last year, CAMBA provided 315 units of permanent housing and 50 units of transitional housing for people living with HIV?|/AIDS and their families. In total, CAMBA placed more than 2,000 individuals and families into safe, stable, permanent housing last year.
This is all happening right in my back yard! I think it’s important to empower local efforts and do what you can to make a big local impact. The thought that the money we raise could be helping people that I pass on the street everyday makes me feel that much more connected to my community and humanity in general. It reminds me that we all have the ability to take ownership of our surroundings and make an impact wherever way we can. I look forward to your support this year and making that impact as big as possible!
I hope that my journey will able to educate, inspire and change a few people’s hearts about homelessness.
— If you’re interested in sponsoring my project please contact me here, thank you.