An organization of homeless New Yorkers rallied residents of Harlem and Manhattan to stand up and take notice of the city’s long-standing practice of warehousing vacant properties.
How many people does it take to make a revolution? Historians estimate that fewer than 500 Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in October 1917, effectively placing the Soviets in power.
Ninety years later in New York City, there are 38,000 homeless folks living in shelters, and untold thousands on the street – more than enough to start a homeless revolution.
For two Saturdays, in July and October of 2006, a group of senior citizens, veterans, mothers and children, and formerly homeless people combed every inch of Manhattan to count abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The goal was to expose the numerous buildings being kept off the market while a very real housing crisis festers throughout the city.
Since 2004, homeless members of Picture the Homeless (PTH) have been challenging claims by city officials that the number of vacant buildings has vastly diminished.