In less than a month, 7,000 people will join hands across the length of Ferry Street (from Niagara Street to Bailey Avenue) to stand united against poverty and to celebrate Buffalo’s diversity. Hands Across Buffalo will take place on May 17 at 11 a.m., beginning with a human chain across the city, followed by several smaller events at venues in various neighborhoods. Ferry Street was chosen because it crosses through many of Buffalo’s diverse communities and provides a route that simultaneously exhibits many of the city’s assets and challenges.
Spearheaded by the Homeless Alliance of Western New York, the Hands Across Buffalo initiative is one that has drawn support from local businesses such as Rich Products and First Niagara Bank and a massive group of local non-profit organizations and service agencies. Each of these organizations has adopted a block of Ferry Street to show their support for the cause. The event organizers’ goal between now and May 17 is to get as many individuals, families, friends, church groups, community groups, businesses and block clubs to sign up to participate in this free event.
Following the human chain portion of the event, there will be several workshops taking place along the route to provide opportunities for education and discussion surrounding this theme of “Standing for Diversity, Uniting Against Poverty.” The current list of presentations is as follows:
- “We Are Women Warriors” hosted by Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant & Karla Thomas at Frank Merriweather Library (1324 Jefferson Avenue)
- Vive Open House hosted by Angela Jordan Mosely at Vive, Inc. (50 Wyoming Avenue)
- Community Open House hosted by the art, music and dance students at Buffalo Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts (450 Masten Avenue)
- “Dialogue on Diversity: This Does Happen Here” hosted by Grace Andriette and Brian Milbrand at H.O.M.E. (1542 Main Street at Ferry Street)
- “The Unaffordable Side of Buffalo” hosted by Heart of the City Neighbors & PUSH Buffalo at PUSH Offices (460 Massachusetts Avenue)
- “Fair Housing” hosted by Beverly Moore at Buffalo Urban League (15 Genesee Street)
- “How to Fight Poverty” hosted by Sam Magavern of the Partnership for the Public Good at H.O.M.E. (1542 Main Street at Ferry Street)
- “We’ll Stand Up” hosted by Peace of the City Shakespeareans (Location TBA)
- “Financial Literacy Quiz” hosted by Belmont Housing Resources for WNY at the Unitarian Universalist Church (695 Elmwood Avenue)
More specific descriptions and time of the workshops can be found here.
To sign up to participate in this free event on May 17, visit www.handsacrossbuffalo.org. Anyone can sign up as an individual or adopt a block for your group or organization. Groups will be paired together to fill out the blocks, so there’s no concern over having too few people in your group to span an entire city block. Those interested in volunteering at the event can also sign up on the website.
For more information, visit the website, Facebook page, or contact the Homeless Alliance of WNY at (716) 853-1101.