At the height of New York City’s homeless epidemic in the 1980s, when most people ignored the homeless, George T. McDonald paid attention and took action. The founder and president of The Doe Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to aiding New York City’s homeless, he began by distributing sandwiches to the homeless in and near Grand Central Terminal every night for almost two full years.
In 1985, McDonald founded The Doe Fund after the death of a homeless woman called “Mama,” a woman he knew and fed, and who froze to death on Christmas Eve after she was forced out of Grand Central. Since The Doe Fund’s founding, the organization – named for the anonymous men and women who live on the streets – has become one of the leading authorities on the homelessness.
With paternal ancestry from the North of Ireland, McDonald credits his dedication to helping those that are less fortunate to his Catholic-school education. As part of The Doe Fund’s program, he initiated Ready, Willing & Able in 1990, a work and training program for homeless men and women, which has helped over 3,000 men and women become drug-free, obtain employment, and get their own housing.