"I know how therapeutic pets can be, from a psychological and spiritual perspective," he says. "Particularly for people facing extreme adversity, that can be an incredibly important, even life-sustaining relationship."
Working to meet the needs of the city's homeless population, there are more than 1,000 soup kitchens and food pantries in NYC, Collide being the only one providing space welcoming the companion animals of their clients.
The organization will feed families together, picnic-style on the sidewalks in front of the Graffiti church. And while Collide operates on a shoestring budget, they still are able to provide warm meals for people and high-quality food for the pets. Plus, there is a volunteer vet who provides check-ups, vaccinations and medicine, along with a spay/neuter clinic, which the Humane Society of NYC has helped provide. Besides providing these everyday resources, Collide also provides assistance in unpredictable situations.
For instance, the organization took preventative measures at the first mention of the catastrophic blizzard that was expected to hit New York City this past January. Collide opened emergency boarding services to meet the needs of the community - housing dogs, cats and pet rats - which allowed their human counterparts to seek housing indoors. This sort of assistance helps the pet-owning homeless population tremendously, as when these inclement weather conditions occur, they are often faced with a dilemma: either sleep on the street or give up the pet, the former being what many end up choosing more often than not.