By Peter Haskell

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – When William Cresbo lost his job packing boxes in the garment district about a year ago, he had no choice but to move onto the streets.

In addition to facing a tough job climate, he’s had to a face a winter season that’s already well below average in temperatures.

That’s why he came to the 22nd annual coat drive run by New York Cares at the New York City Rescue Mission where the spirit of Christmas is being felt by those in need of getting warm, winter coats.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

When asked how he liked his new coat, Cresbo said it was “very nice.”

“It’s warm,” he said. “I needed one.”

Executive director Gary Bagley said this isn’t just for the homeless but also the working poor.

“A winter coat is a huge expense. And when choosing between putting food on the table and a winter coat for the kids, obviously, they will go with the food,” Bagley said.

The group hopes to collect and distribute 70,000 coats, but Bagley said they’d be open to way more than just 70,000.

“I would say that we couldn’t collect enough coats for all the demand that’s out there,” Bagley said.

Forty-eight-year-old Anthony Stevenson came to the mission and picked up a heavy olive-colored coat with a fake fur trim.

“You know, it helps because you don’t have to worry about trying to stay warm. It keeps you from the elements,” Stevenson said.

The coat drive runs until Dec. 31.

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