NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City-based organization claims its blanket giveaway to the homeless didn’t go as planned at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Volunteers with Saxon/Hart gathered dozens of blankets on Wednesday and planned to hand them out to those in need at Grand Central Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
That plan apparently backfired.
“When we got to Port Authority we were told we can’t give them out because they don’t want the homeless to get too comfortable there,” Saxon/Hart spokeswoman Michelle Tolson told 1010 WINS.
The organization contacted police before going to the Bus Terminal and was told there was nothing illegal about what they wanted to do, Tolson said.
“We weren’t trying to make people more comfortable in the station, we just wanted people to not freeze,” Tolson said. “There have been deaths because of these awful temperatures and that’s what we’re trying to do is just help people that are stuck on the street.”
The Port Authority released a statement, saying “The Port Authority is committed to assisting the homeless and has worked with Urban Pathways and other leading service providers for nearly 20 years at the Bus Terminal to ensure that homeless and at-risk New Yorkers have the housing, services and support they need. We appreciate Saxon/Hart’s willingness to help and we will meet with them and Urban Pathways to see how Saxon can best compliment Urban Pathway’s efforts and ensure that all New Yorkers are kept warm during this bitter cold season.”
Tolson said the group was trying to do some good, not cause trouble.
“It’s just an act of kindness and I would hope somebody would do that for me,” Tolson said. “It is too cold and too brutal to do nothing for the homeless. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or a blanket, it’s something.”
The group continued its mission on Thursday, handing out blankets at Penn Station.