Hundreds of job-seekers did just that in Queens in the hopes of landing a coveted union job.
Construction workers, engineers, electricians -- hundreds spent the weekend right here. Many left with a job application, while many others walked away empty-handed.
"The sky's the limit after this!" said Aaron Johnson of Mount Vernon.
Johnson is living month-to-month, struggling to pay the bills, with a 4-year-old daughter to support -- and he was one of the lucky ones.
After three days of sleeping on the street, he left with one of just 750 job applications handed out for a position as an elevator technician apprentice -- a secure job with pension and benefits and an earning potential up to $40 an hour.
"You don't wanna keep working these dead-end jobs, check to check to check to check. I don't want to do that anymore," Johnson said.
More than 1,000 eager applicants began lining up as early as Friday morning armed with a variety of skills -- and warm blankets.
Though many near the end of the line knew they probably wouldn't even get an application, desperation to land a job fueled their determination to stand on line anyway -- and hope for the best.
"I got laid off and that's why I'm here, looking for my future," said Benny Rodriguez of Flushing, Queens.
"Oh it's real tough. Last night I was watching the news and they said 1 out of 10 New Yorkers are out of work. And it's not getting any better," said Scott Power of Patchogue.
But for the fortunate few who walked out with the precious piece of paper, things may be looking up.
"Right here, baby girl ... she's depending on my in three years to have the big house ... and that's what I'm working on," Johnson said.
The union plans to hire about 75 people -- and possibly more depending on the economy.