One of the issues that the Platinum Pias will be exploring this year is homelessness. Producer Yianni Stamas and director Harliquin “Harley” Merva along with other collaborators, are deeply engrossed in planning the next awards show. This year it could be a combination of narrative and awards show, an interesting hybrid. By giving out a “Help the Homeless NYC” Pia the Pias team are hoping to build awareness around this issue. Yianni blogged a bit recently about developing the program’s script and concept.

Help the Homeless NYC is an alliance of businesses and their customers who are taking on the homelessness problem by offering solutions including donating food, coats and more. Do you want to be a volunteer in NYC? You can help by participating with New York based organizations including City Harvest.

An example of a City Harvest and business/customers collaboration recently occurred with salon chain Dramatics NYC. Dramatics, which has 9 locations in Manhattan, has several of its salons participating including 23rd, 47th, Broadway, 5th Ave, 3rd Ave and 57th Street. The 57th Street and 5th Avenue locations specifically worked with City Harvest doing a food drive with the participation of Dramatics NYC customers.

We can all be a part of a coalition for the homeless. It’s about being on the lookout for how you can help. You can become a soup kitchen volunteer or get involved with the National Coalition for the Homeless. Homeless shelters in NYC need your help. Helping the homeless, making a difference in the lives of others, can make you feel great.

The problem is widespread with homeless women, men and children and an area that can make an important difference is help with housing. And not surprisingly the issue extends even to veterans. Help for Veterans is available but many slip through the cracks not getting the counseling they desperately need to become re-integrated into society.

Contacting homeless services is one way to get involved but you can also be proactive and engage your resources in the fight. For example if you are a business owner you can do what Dramatics NYC did with offering their clients special discounts as an incentive for donating coats, food and more.

The point is to get involved in any way you can. And be watching for this year’s Platinum Pias Awards to feature an award called the “Help the Homeless NYC” PIA, sponsored in part by this blog and publication.