Safety Net, Winter 2013

Coalition Celebrates its Most Successful ARTWALK Ever!

18th Annual Artwalk NY Benefiting Coalition for the Homeless

Despite a sudden Nor’easter, nearly 700 New Yorkers joined us on November 7th to honor the accomplishments of artist Jack Pierson and photographer Patrick McMullan at the Coalition’s 18th annual ARTWALK NY.

18th Annual Artwalk NY Benefiting Coalition for the Homeless

Although the storm peaked just before the start of the event, it didn’t deter our dedicated ARTWALK attendees! Several guests remarked that the severe conditions outside reminded them why everyone was there: To help the record number of New Yorkers trapped in homelessness and to raise awareness about their plight.

As guests arrived at 82 Mercer they were greeted by restaurant tasting stations hosted by Indochine, The Odeon, Michael’s, The National, Macao Trading Co., and David Burke Kitchen. A selection of wines was generously provided by Brancott Estate and specialty cocktails by the evening’s liquor sponsor, Belvedere. Guests traded stories about that night’s storm, the previous night’s presidential election and the previous week’s terrible hurricane. They then began bidding on the more than 100 stunning pieces in the silent auction. Highlights included works by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Shelter Serra, Bill Jensen and Lola Montes Schnabel; prints by Raymond Pettibon, Marcel Dzama and Pat Steir; photographs by Patrick McMullan, Patti Smith and Robert Longo, to name a few.

18th Annual Artwalk NY Benefiting Coalition for the Homeless

The highlight of the evening was the live auction. Guests heard special remarks from ARTWALK honorees Patrick McMullan and Jack Pierson, who spoke movingly of their admiration for the work of the Coalition and their concern and compassion for the tens of thousands of men, women and children suffering the trauma of homelessness in New York City. Their inspiring words were followed by a thrilling live auction, led by auctioneer Aileen Agopian, which featured exquisite works by Jack Pierson, Patrick McMullan, Louise Fishman, Barnaby Furnas, Wade Guyton, Jenny Holzer, Kim McCarty, Roxy Paine, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and a unique commissioned portrait by photographer Adam Fuss. The live auction alone raised an astonishing $400,000 – a new record for ARTWALK!

Following the excitement of the live auction, guests returned to finalize their bids in the silent auction while DJ Donna D’Cruz kept everyone entertained through the end of the evening.

We were inspired by the hundreds of ardent Coalition supporters who overcame the brutal weather to help us raise $900,000, making this our most successful ARTWALK to date. We are truly grateful to our generous sponsors, artists, Art Advisory Board and Benefit Committee members whose amazing efforts made this year’s event possible!

The Coalition Makes the Holidays a Little Brighter for New York’s Homeless Kids

The holiday spirit was in full display this season as hundreds of people responded to our annual toy drive with tremendous generosity. We received more than 2,000 toys for homeless girls and boys, from skateboards and Barbie dolls
to basketballs and MP3 players.

Dozens of companies and schools from across NYC were eager to help. AIG, Rubicon, Nickelodeon and FGI Finance held extremely successful drives, collecting hundreds of toys. Francesca, a thoughtful ten-year-old who’s already a seasoned toy-drive veteran, nearly doubled her efforts from last year and brought two truckloads of toys that she purchased with the help of friends and family. And we received nearly 300 gifts – many with warm holiday notes – from compassionate Americans across the country thanks to our new Amazon wish list that let caring folks everywhere easily participate in the drive.


With the toys coming in, the holiday season became a flurry of activity as volunteers from Missy Farren Associates, Global Strategy Group, AIG, Curtis Brown Ltd, and UHY-US wrapped hundreds of the gifts for our annual holiday party in mid-December.

The party was a truly wonderful day – made possible by the kindness of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). For one afternoon, 130 homeless girls and boys escaped the dreary life in a shelter for fun, music, games and great food. Our DJ got even the shiest kids moving on the dance floor, while face-painters turned our young guests into lions, butterflies and superheroes. Volunteers from Camp Homeward Bound entertained the kids with games and crafts, and artists from Xmental Inc. created personalized graffiti art for each child. The arrival of Santa brought squeals of delight as each child had a chance to sit on his lap and whisper holiday wishes in his ear. At the end of the party, PIX 11 weatherman Mr. G, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and other Coalition supporters pitched in to hand out the toys and other gifts to all the happy partygoers. Each child left with a glowing face – a reminder of the magic that the holidays can bring to us all.

The remaining toys were delivered to homeless girls and boys in nearly a dozen other shelters by our Grand Central Food Program and Scattered Site Housing Program staff, so that hundreds more youngsters would have a bit of holiday cheer, even amidst their hardships.

As we enter the New Year at a time of record child homelessness, we are deeply thankful to each of you who took the time to brighten a homeless girl or boy’s holiday this season.