Coalition for the Homeless Names Midtown Open Hearts as the Recipient of Compassionate Communities Award

Volunteer group demonstrates the power of treating homeless neighbors with compassion, dignity, and care.

New York, NY — November 29, 2022 — Today, Coalition for the Homeless announced the recipient of its seventh annual Compassionate Communities Award: Midtown Open Hearts, a local chapter of the Open Hearts Initiative.

After the opening of a shelter at the former Park Savoy Hotel sparked not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) pushback, residents of Hell’s Kitchen and Murray Hill/Kips Bay joined together to support their homeless neighbors in the community. By chalking messages of support outside the Park Savoy Shelter, creating welcome kits for unsheltered New Yorkers transitioning to a new stabilization bed facility in the neighborhood, organizing a toy drive for a new family shelter, and other commendable acts of kindness and humanity toward New Yorkers in need, Midtown Open Hearts has had a powerful impact on the local community and demonstrated the power of treating our homeless neighbors with compassion, dignity, and care.

This award comes as the increased visibility of homelessness has contributed to further criminalization, vilification, and attempts to sweep people experiencing homelessness out of sight.

“Midtown Open Hearts is an inspiring example of how to counter intolerance, ignorance, and prejudice with practical actions driven by the understanding that we’re all in this together – that the suffering of our neighbors is not something to be ignored or reviled, but something to be mended, and that each of us has the power to do so. We are proud to recognize Midtown Open Hearts for the respect and care they have shown to homeless individuals and families,” said Dave Giffen, Executive Director at Coalition for the Homeless.

“We’re thrilled by the growth of Midtown Open Hearts and are incredibly proud to see their efforts recognized. In a moment when people experiencing homelessness are being criminalized and dehumanized, the work of Midtown Open Hearts testifies to the power of welcoming and supporting homeless neighbors,” said Sara Newman, Director of Organizing at the Open Hearts Initiative.

As Midtown Open Hearts continues to grow, the group hopes to continue to support their homeless neighbors through advocacy, compassion, creativity, and challenging NIMBYism.

To volunteer or learn more about the Open Hearts Initiative, visit