2017 Dip Against Homelessness

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

2017 Dip Against Homelessness 

February 11th, a group of winter swimming professionals, amateurs and Polar Bears gathered at Orchard Beach in the Bronx for something special: to participate in the 2017 Dip Against Homelessness event co-organized by BronxNet and BronxWorks. 

Participants also brought socks, gloves, scarves and other clothing items for donation to the homeless services program at BronxWorks. Warm chicken soup and sizzling hot chocolate were served to shivering swimmers who had braved the extreme coldness of the water.

"For the extreme cold that we will feel for the few seconds that we are in the water pales in comparison to the cold that the homeless feel when they sleep out on the streets of New York City all winter long," said Eileen Torres, the executive director of BronxWorks.  

The money raised through this event went to supporting homeless individuals by providing them with socks, scarves, gloves, shirts, undergarments, and other items. While many of us take these items for granted, for a previously street homeless person they are an important step towards the return of mainstream life. 

Homeless men and woman are one of the most vulnerable elements of the low-income population. Many have experienced trauma or abuse. Three in five street homeless persons in teh Bronx have a mental health condition. Many suffer from alcohol or drug dependence. All struggle to find a warm and safe place where they can lie down for a night's sleep. Home for street homeless persons is a grassy area near a highway ramp, an abandoned tenement building, or a park bench. Deep sleep, which is essential for good health, is impossible and safety is often a concern. 

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