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  Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road
Dr. Tim Keller

Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just
Dr. Tim Keller

  When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself
Brian Fikkert
To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City
Mark R. Gornik


Mercy in the Kingdom of God
Logan Gentry, Apostles Church


Hope for the City
Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church


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What our interns learned at Mini-Don't Walk By

August 15, 2016

By Erin Slay & Abby Cunningham

This summer, we had the opportunity to intern with Hope for New York. During that time, we volunteered with a Mini Don’t Walk By through New York City Relief

During the volunteer experience, groups walk around designated areas of the city and reach out to people living on the street. Participants are encouraged to have conversations and create relationships with those they interact with during the evening.

As HFNY interns, we wanted to get experience volunteering on the ground with some of Hope for New York’s affiliates, especially those serving the homeless. We decided to report back on our experience, our expectations going into the night and our reactions after leaving. Here are some of our key takeaways from volunteering with a Mini Don’t Walk By:

  • Get ready to get out of your comfort zone. Neither of us had ever done a homeless outreach prior to volunteering with Mini Don’t Walk By. It’s hard to talk to someone you’ve never met before, and who is living in conditions you can’t relate to. With this in mind, we were a little nervous and unsure of what to expect, but we showed up anyway!
  • Take a buddy with you. Going together gave us both a person to walk into the unknown with- we’d recommend serving with a friend for your first time. Having a community with you can give you a chance to branch out with your peers. It was also great to be able to talk about the experience with each other once we were finished! Hope for New York also makes it easy to go in a group or with a buddy, so you don’t have to go blindly into a new experience alone.
  • People on the streets are just like us: image bearers of God. It might be awkward or you might feel unfit to serve them, but we discovered that it’s about seeing them as image-bearers of God. After serving with DWB, we know that we will not be able to ignore homelessness- even if it is just a quick hello or smile. We both feel empowered. It challenged us to re-evaluate our view of the homeless men and women we see everyday in this city and to view them through eyes of love and grace.
  • Homelessness is a complex issue. At HFNY, homelessness is a frequent topic of conversation and an issue that the staff care deeply about. Our biggest takeaway from DWB was that the issue of homelessness is complex and goes beyond what we see on the street. There are many reasons why these individuals are on the street and there is not a one-fix solution to the problem. Although we may not resolve their homelessness in a 20 minute conversation, DWB allows for these men and women to see that someone cares about them.
  • Try a Mini Don’t Walk By! Even if you only serve one time, it can change the way you think about a group of people in this city and that is valuable.

We’re not from New York, but we had a blast living and working here this summer. Volunteering with a Mini Don’t Walk By impacted us in a big way and we’ll take back that experience when we leave the city. We hope our experience will encourage you to take the step and serve your homeless neighbors! 

Interested in volunteering with a Mini Don’t Walk By? The next outreach is Thursday, August 18! Learn more and sign up here.

Related Affiliates: New York City Relief