Registration for 2016 Winter Outreach Campaign will begin December 1st.

2016 Outreach Dates:

  • Feb 7 | Uptown Outreach
  • Feb 13 | Eastside Outreach
  • Feb 20 | Downtown Outreach
  • Feb 27 | Westside Outreach




To participate in all other Thursdays, please contact Jessica Wright at volunteer@newyorkcityrelief.org or 1-800-736-2773.

Did you love your experience serving at the annual Don’t Walk By February initiative, but can’t wait until next year to do it again?

The Rescue Alliance is now making a weekly Don’t Walk By outreach available every Thursday night! This weekly outreach is not on the same scale as the annual event, but it focuses on the area in New York City most densely populated with homeless people – midtown Manhattan.

Volunteers meet Thursday nights at a location near Penn Station, NY for a brief training on the evening’s outreach strategy. Afterwards the group breaks into small teams to walk the streets to love and care for our friends on the street and possibly connect them to resources that can help turn their lives around.

Thursday night outreaches are from 5:45pm-9:30pm

New York City Relief, one of the member organizations for The Rescue Alliance is coordinating all weekly Don’t Walk By volunteers.

team prayer


HOW DON’T WALK BY (Annual Campaign) WORKS

  • We split Manhattan up into four zones (Downtown, Eastside, Westside, Uptown)  and cover one zone each Saturday in February.
  • We bring our services (meals, clothing, basic medical care, resource referral) to an anchor church who is hosting in that particular quadrant.
  • Street & Subway teams are formed from registration and assigned a team leader who has gone through our team leader training.  They go out to assigned subzones within that Saturday’s zone on a search and rescue mission walking every block or subway platform.
  • When our street or subway engagement teams meet someone who would like to return to the anchor church, they contact our transportation team who will arrange for a pick-up.  The volunteers wait with the guest until they are picked-up by transportation.
  • Back at the anchor church, Hospitality staff and volunteers await guests who will return to the anchor church to take advantage of what we’re offering that day.  Guests can also speak to our resource team about alternatives for life on the streets. Guests will also have the opportunity to stay at our overnight private shelter (at The Bowery Mission or NYC Rescue Mission).

TYPES OF VOLUNTEER POSITIONS – You can only sign up for one position for each outreach

  1. Street Engagement
    1. Walks a 10×10 block radius with team on search and rescue mission to find the homeless, and offer them a ride back to the anchor church for food, meal, clothes, etc.
    2. Must be at least 18 yrs old
  2. Subway Engagement
    1. Rides a subway line with team on search and rescue mission to find the homeless, and offer them a ride back to the anchor church for food, meal, clothes, etc.
    2. Helpful to have an unlimited Metrocard as we cannot provide one for you if you choose this role.
    3.  Must be at least 18 yrs old
  3. Team Leader (Street or Subway Engagement) –
    1. Leads a team of the above mentioned volunteers with map, homeless tracking info, and transportation contacts.
    2. Must attend a team leader training and will be prompted to select one of 2 dates during registration
    3. Must be at least 21 yrs old
    4. The team leader should be able to multi-task and delegate tasks as appropriate and fitting to team members.  Their priority is to ensure the safety of the team, that multiple tasks are assigned and delegated, keep the team on its mission and cover their assigned zone, and to be the point contact person for the transportation team.
  4. Hospitality
    1. Works at the anchor church to provide a smile, meal, clothing, medical treatment, resources, and more to the homeless guests that arrive off the streets. Specific assignments will be given at training / orientation.
    2. Must be at least 16 yrs old
  5. Medical Professionals (Medical Doctors, registered nurses, physician assistants, EMTs, Medical practitioners, certified counselors)
  6. Transportation We always need more vans to help with transportation during the outreach. If your church/family/organization has a van, minivan, and can offer a driver, we could use it.

As a team leader, you must register to attend ONE team leader training.  When you register as a team leader, you will be prompted to select a training date.

You are welcome to register for multiple Saturdays of outreach.  If you sign up to be a team leader, we would love if you could be a team leader for multiple Saturdays if possible.


We would love for you to sign up with your church, community group, or group of friends.  The best way to ensure that your team will be together is to have 6-8 people in your team, a designated team leader (age 21+) who will attend the team leader training, and no more than 4 males OR 4 females per team. Here’s how it works:

  1. As a group (of 6-8 people, age 18+), decide on an outreach date to volunteer.
  2. Determine if your group will be doing Street or Subway Engagement and inform all team members to select this choice when registering.  
  3. Choose a team name and designate a team leader (age 21+) who will attend a mandatory team leader training (on Jan 26 or 30th, 6:30pm-8:30pm)
  4. Each person on your team will still need to register individually but enter in the team name that you have determined together ahead of time. If there are multiple teams from the same church, please create unique team names.  
  5. Flexibility is key. While group affiliations are taken into account when assigning outreach teams,  Don’t Walk By assigns teams with specific safety constraints in mind and to best serve our homeless neighbors (i.e. co-ed groups, 6-8 people per group, etc). We recommend having 1 team leader for every 6-8 people in your group. DWB coordinators will assign your team to a specific zone to walk. You may be placed on another team than your choosing, so we thank you in advance for your graciousness and flexibility!
  6. If you do not have a group of at least 6 and would like to be grouped with others, please list their names when you register. We will do our best to honor those requests.

Thanks for volunteering to be a part of this unprecedented homeless outreach campaign!


New Hats & Gloves. We need new hats and gloves to give away.  Insulated gloves, large and XLarge sizes, dark colors.  You may drop them off on the day of the event at the anchor church.

New or Gently used Coats. We also need coats! Large, XL, and XXL sizes and dark colors are preferred. These may also be brought on the day of the event at the anchor church.

Other items needed.  Belts, shoes (men’s – sizes 10 and up)

Why Volunteer?  Watch our 4 minute promotional video: