Transcript for NYC couple provides backpacks to help homeless
Our next guest used to be homeless, now he's co-founder of backpacks for the street, a volunteer organization delivering backpacks filled with covid-19 supplies to those experiencing homelessness. Our Sara Haines sat down with the founder and his partner. Reporter: From the subway to the streets, people in need are around every corner in big cities like New York. For Jayson and Jeffrey, this was a problem. We felt like we weren't giving enough and we said, we wanted to give them more. Reporter: The couple decided to give back with backpacks. Filled with everyday necessities, but more importantly, with hope. The backpacks, the first program we launched, so-called backpacks for the street and one of said, start a backpack program. We said great. Talk about what's in that bag. First aid kit. Hand sanitizer. I see like a notebook. Note pads is so important. Reporter: But when the pandemic hit, the city quite literally shut all of its doors. What covid has really done is, you know, before people who felt invisible to begin with, covid only magnified that. Like, they go too close. They look at them they'll somehow catch the virus. Reporter: For Jayson, it was a feeling he knew all too well. You mentioned when you mentioned Jason he was homeless. The truth is, I never thoughof him as a homeless. Homeless was this image, this stereotype. It wasn't this 27-year-old kid who was -- I assumed he was a happy kid. I didn't think of myself being homeless but then, when I would think about it, I mean, I know where I'm living. Thank you for -- When you see them, you see Jayson. Jayson, when you look at the people you're helping, do you No, but I feel it. I feel -- I feel -- I feel the pain that they're in and -- Reporter: Although social stigmas dictate our perceptions they're often inaccurate. What do people get wrong about the homeless community? Everything. A lot, a lot. The stereotype that they're a bunch of drug addicts or crazy people, most people want to get off the streets. They want to be here. They're doing it because their circumstances put them here. This is not the life they want. I got to ask you about one more stigma. What do people get wrong about people who are HIV positive, because so much has changed over the years with medicines but people -- there's a cig ma to being hiv-positive? When I came out, when I tested positive, to use that to tell people to fight that stigma. With homelessness, when you put a face to it, put a face to the name, you can no longer look at that as HIV. That's Jeffrey. People always say, I don't know anyone who's HIV positive. But you do. That changes what you do even more. Your immunal compromised during a pandemic. And you're not staying at home. You're saying, now more than ever, we need to be out there. So you're putting your lives on the line, really, every day. I can't imagine anything that would stop us from doing what we do. Look, you know what, HIV didn't kill me. 9/11 didn't kill me and covid sure isn't going to kill me. And that's the truth. Thank you to our Sara Haines and congratulations to Jason and Jeff for what they are doing in
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