Our Mission

"Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless."Isaiah 1:17

Collide is a ministry that provides assistance to homeless youth and travelers of the East Village/LES by offering food and medical care to their companion animals. We operate through Graffiti Community Ministries, located inside of Graffiti Church, applying our faith by sharing God's love in a practical way and affirming the worth of people and animals who call the streets home. At Collide, we recognize the critical role companion animals play in the overall well-being of their owners, as they offer emotional support, stability, and unconditional love. We believe all creatures are valuable, and for us, that means compassion extends from the end of the leash to the hand that holds it.

We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to Collide this year. We have met our 2015 budget of $30,000! The recent donations of both in-kind and financial resources enabled us to serve much further into the year than we had forecasted, hosting 7 additional veterinary clinics and extending our weekly outreach allowing clients access to supplies and seasonal necessities through January 2016. We have suspended our in-house services for the winter and have explained this in our FAQ section below. We will continue to pilot an off-site clinic at a private facility as we hope to model the possibilities for more self-sustaining and independently maintained veterinary centers within homeless human service agencies and street outreach teams.

As our fifth year of serving draws to a close, we have seen many changes in the landscape of homelessness in NYC, including within our own clientele and neighborhood. Both Ali and Heidi are entering new seasons in their professional and personal lives and are unable to serve in the same capacity with Collide for 2016. As a result, Graffiti is inviting another who hears the call of Christ to serve all of His creatures to apply through their Upside Down Life ministry.

Our Programs

“Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks”Psalm 36:6
veterinary care image

Veterinary Care

The cornerstone of Collide is Veterinary Care. Our clinics allow us to provide necessary animal medical services as well as legally required vaccinations and dog licensing. These clinics assist individual animals and also address important public health needs.

Call of the wild program logo

Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild program was developed to encourage clients to spay and neuter their animals. Clients who do have their animal spayed/neutered are given a kit with useful people and pet supplies as well as extended veterinary benefits.

weekday meal program logo

Weekday Meal

We serve human and animal families a meal together from late spring through the fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Graffiti. These weekly meals allow us to connect with our clients while outfitting them with supplies needed for themselves and their animals.

lucky 3 13 program logo

Lucky 13:3

Lucky 13:3 is our prison pen pal program based on Hebrews 13:3, which states, “Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you”. This program is limited to friends and family of our community.

How You Can Help

"Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help."Proverbs 3:27

Donate Financially

If you would like to give financially to benefit us during winter, please make a donation to the Humane Society of New York in honor of Collide. The HSNY facilitates medical care far beyond what we are able to provide at our clinics as well as the spay/neuter surgeries for the unique situations of the people and pets we serve.

Collide NYC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit under the umbrella of Graffiti Community Ministries. Your tax-deductible donation goes directly to our work to serve our homeless clients and their animals.

Contribute Supplies

Donations we receive during the winter are utilized to serve our partners who participate with us in the network of human/animal welfare professionals including homeless human service agencies and street outreach teams. Contact us if you would like to provide donations for people or animals.

Every item you contribute from our wish list allows us to create a more robust program, serving as many people and animals as possible and providing work opportunities for the people we serve.

Help Us Serve

Collide's on site programs are closed for the season. If you are interested in giving your time and serving with us, we invite you to read our FAQ below to learn more about our needs and how we facilitate our programs. Though we work with animals, our priority is people.

If you are interested in giving your time and serving with us, we invite you to read our FAQ to learn more about our needs and how we facilitate our programs. Though we work with animals, our priority is people.

Frequently Asked Questions

"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge."Proverbs 18:15a
I am from animal control/law enforcement or a rescue organization and we have an animal connected to you.

Please contact us so we can provide you with veterinary records, proof of ownership, and any other information you may require. Email is best, but you can also text us or leave us a message on our Infoline (917) 979-3767. We are usually able to return calls within the hour.

I am a private citizen and I have an animal with your tag/chip.

Please contact us so we can reach out to the animal’s owner. Email is best, but you can also text us or leave us a message on our Infoline (917) 979-3767. We are usually able to return calls within the hour.

Also check Craigslist and look for missing pet fliers that may be posted in your area. Our clients may lack the ability to make phone calls, check email, and may have limited access to transportation. Conduct the widest search possible while you wait to hear from us.

If you cannot physically hold the animal, we recommend having it taken to the nearest animal shelter so the owners can retrieve it and we can coordinate care through the shelter. We will help the owner make arrangements to collect their pet. We do not sponsor veterinary care or boarding costs for any found animal that is not in the custody of a state or city run facility.

One of the saddest and most difficult parts of our job is seeing beloved pets stolen by well-intentioned citizens. Most of these animals are found on the road in rough shape and rehabilitated by their owners only to be taken by someone who thinks the pet deserves better. Pets want to be where their people are, even if that is not in a traditional home environment.

How can a homeless person own a pet?

People who own pets, whether in traditional or nontraditional environments, do so for many reasons. We do not speculate as to why a person may have a pet but we do offer services to address the multiple needs of the homeless community and their animals. Society as a whole has many views on the subject of pet ownership and we do not make comments in regards to why our clients may have a pet or why others may agree or disagree with it. These animals are loved and valued, fulfilling a normal human desire for companionship.

Though many people say they would take their pets with them if they became homeless, that is not the statistical reality. We help those who do.

We never condone the mistreatment, abuse, or neglect of any living creature.

Can you provide further information or resources?
“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.”Charles Darwin

If you are seeking information for city shelters, housing, or service agencies in regards to their policies or the number of people with pets that are trying to access their facilities, please contact the appropriate agencies directly.

Please visit nyc.gov or call 311 for more information about how the City of New York handles social services. For locations where individuals can access food, visit the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

Currently NYC homeless shelters do not allow animals with the exception of one facility dedicated to the victims of domestic abuse.

Having a pet greatly complicates programs that work to transition people seeking housing off of the streets or out of the human shelter system. If you have met someone you are seeking to help or are facing eviction, we cannot provide resources for you to facilitate housing, shelter, or foster as there currently is very little support in NYC to help with these issues when a pet is involved. The links below however are a good starting point to find what potential options may exist.

Homelessness and poverty are nationally systemic and cyclical problems. We have provided resources below as a launching point to learn more about these issues. Our hope is for individuals to become a part of bringing change to their community and to the accepted and often misunderstood approach of viewing anyone in these situations.

I would like to know more about a dog or person.

Collide highly values the privacy of our two and four-legged clients and does not release information about either to the public or media.

We do not allow observation of our programs or access to our clients for interviews. Nor do we display images of our human clients or request that they sign a photo release.

What does faith based mean?

Here at Collide we are inspired by God’s command to love others. We are motivated by our belief in Jesus and His teachings to help and serve the under served – both the two- and four-legged.

Our services are offered to people and animals in need, regardless of a person's race, gender, immigration status, faith, beliefs, lifestyle choices, or sexual orientation.

Those who participate with Collide in any capacity are not expected to accept our spiritual system or attend religious functions, nor are they required to listen to or accept any religious material in order to receive our services. We offer referrals to any organization or program that is beneficial to our clients.

Though we inhabit an office at Graffiti Church, Collide is one of many programs that operates under the umbrella of Graffiti Community Ministries; the service arm of Graffiti Church which carries a seperate 501(c)3. Our EIN is 13-3861124.

How do I get in touch with you and what happens in winter?

During the winter we have found it most effective to work directly with human and animal welfare agencies who requests our help for their clients or law enforcement officers who want to provide services/supplies to a person they regularily connect with on the streets.

We invite any human homeless agency willing to facilitate a clinic at their facility or members of their street outreach team who need specific services/supplies for their clients to contact us. We do not work the public in addressing the needs of those on the streets.

Collide was created specifically to serve the homeless youth and young adult travelers of the East Village that would come to Graffiti’s Wednesday Night Meal with their pets. What developed from our initial vision for how to help our local community of need became a much larger and more robust program than expected, spanning the entire United States to accommodate the migratory lifestyle of the traveler and their companion animals. As our clients are here seasonally, we are most active during the summer and we close our in-house programs from late fall to late spring. This has been our schedule for the five years Collide has operated. Our registered clients have direct access to us all times of year.

Over the past two years we have experienced an increased awareness of our program, and therefore a growing number of referrals to our services from the public, the city, and other animal/human organizations. In response to this Collide attempted to cast a larger net and assist additional people beyond our current recipients, but discovered we are not adequately equipped to handle the various needs and complex issues of this expanded group. We strongly believe that it takes a system of support for those who are struggling; and collaboration with the human agencies that provide structure, safety, advocacy, and qualified help is essential to the success of a larger-scale platform that assists in the unique situations of homeless pet owners.

We will not turn anyone who is homeless away, but our limited services, supplies, and schedule were created around serving a specific group of people. It is often simple to help a pet needing basic care and we are happy to assist as we can. Homelessness, however, is a complicated issue and we do not alter the way we operate to accomidate every situation.

Do you provide a pet food pantry, youth shelter, homeless shelter, or animal shelter?

We are not a pet food pantry, homeless shelter, youth shelter, or animal shelter. To learn more about what we do, please visit the programs section of our website. Collide operates out of an office within Graffiti that does not have facilities for human or animal housing.

I would like Collide to help a homeless person with a pet.


Professional: Employees/Social Workers with the DHS or a youth or adult homeless shelter or facility who have a client interested in our services or would like to partner with us by setting up a clinic at your location, please contact us. Social Workers please utilize the Helping Pets and People in Crisis toolkit at the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.

General Public: We believe in the individual right of a person to seek help and access the services they need for themselves and their pet. Therefore, we only coordinate care directly through a potential client at their request. This must be done in person by visiting Collide during our program hours. Clients must come to us to receive services, we do not provide help outside of our physical location in the East Village and in keeping with these policies, we do not respond to requests for us to check on individuals and their animals.

Please do not send a potential client to our location outside of our program hours as they will not be granted access to the building. Mobility with an animal can be a particular challenge in NYC as large pets are not welcome on the public transit systems and some clients may have to walk upwards of 30 blocks to reach us. We do not want anyone to experience the frustration of an unsuccessful trip when attempting to receive supplies or our services.

I would like to volunteer with Collide.

A key initiative in our programs is allowing our clients to fulfill roles that a volunteer normally would, thus enabling a work history for those who are seeking employment and providing opportunities for those who have received help to in turn serve others. As a result we do not have on site positions for general volunteers.

We encourage anyone interested volunteering with us to instead give their time to homeless adult or youth shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, and city run animal shelters. We believe that social change comes from education, and participating in the systems that our clients utilize is the first step toward recognizing the great needs and challenges of homelessness and poverty not only in NYC, but our nation as a whole.

Hope For New York Volunteer Opportunities