Midnight Run is a volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless.
The story of Midnight Run begins on the streets, with homeless men and women looking out for each other and helping each other survive. At that time, in the early 1980’s, most of the nation was neither aware of nor sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, whose numbers had recently ballooned. South Church began making regular trips to Manhattan, bringing food, clothing, blankets, and conversation to the people on the streets. These efforts gradually formalized into what is now Midnight Run.
Three decades later, Midnight Run is an independent nonprofit entity running over 1,000 relief missions per year. Volunteers from churches, synagogues, schools and other civic groups distribute food, clothing, blankets and personal care items to the homeless poor on the streets of New York City. The late-night relief efforts create a forum for trust, sharing, understanding and affection. That human exchange, rather than the exchange of goods, is the essence of the Midnight Run mission.
Midnight Run is not a solution to homelessness. It’s goal is to forge a bond between housed and homeless people by establishing a foundation of sharing and caring from which solutions may evolve. Through Midnight Run, volunteers come to see the homeless as real people, not a commodity (or a liability), while homeless men and women learn that many mainstream adults and teenagers have commitments and concerns that go beyond their own lives and families.
Several times a year, South Church leads a Midnight Run. Opportunities to serve in this way include
- donations of food, clothing, or personal care items
- sorting and packing clothing
- making sandwiches and bag lunches
- driving volunteers to Manhattan
- organizing and coordinating a Run
More information on the Midnight Run and how to conduct a Run may be found on the Midnight Run web site.