FORT WAYNE—The Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness has arranged a week full of events to mark National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 16-24, 2013. The Planning Council estimates approximately 2,500 people are homeless in Fort Wayne at any given time, and the group aims to raise awareness and find solutions to address homelessness. The theme for the week is “I Stand for 1,” calling on people to stand for even one individual who is homeless and unseen. The Planning Council is made up of organizations that serve homeless individuals and families. Organizations that provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing are all represented, as well as the City of Fort Wayne, United Way of Allen County and Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Monday, November 18 – News Conference at noon on the Courthouse Green: Reverend Donovan Coley from The Rescue Mission, Mayor Tom Henry, and representatives from agencies associated with the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness will kick off the week of awareness, education and events. Also 200 “I Stand for 1” t-shirts will be handed out on a first come, first served basis.
Monday, November 18 – Wednesday, November 20 Stuff-a-Bus Food Drive: Associated Churches and WLDE 101.7 are staffing buses that will be open for food donations from 5:30 am to 7 pm in Georgetown Square, Pine Valley in front of Rustic Hutch, and MidWest America Federal Credit Union on Bluffton Road. Donations of non-perishable food and over-the-counter medicines will be used by the Associated Churches food pantry network.
Tuesday, November 19 – Skip a Lunch, Feed a Bunch Project: On average, individuals spend $5 on lunch daily and with the same $5, The Rescue Mission can feed three hungry people. The Planning Council encourages residents to put the $5 they might have spent on lunch in an envelope and drop it off at the Mission, 301 W. Superior Street. For envelopes, contact Laurie Brumbaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 260.426.7357 ext 129.
Wednesday, November 20 – Tour and Learn: The 1st “Tour and Learn” begins at The Rescue Mission located at 301 W. Superior Street at noon to tour downtown to get a look at many of the shelters and service providers in the area. Residents can hop on a van at The Rescue Mission and will receive tour packets of information and a host on the van will educate individuals about the shelters and services available for people who are homeless. The 2nd “Tour and Learn” begins at 4:30 pm at The Rescue Mission to tour the facilities/mission located at 301 W. Superior Street and will conclude around 6:00 pm at Charis House, located at 431 Fairmount Place. Transportation will be provided between the two campuses. To RSVP for the 4:30 pm Tour and Learn, please contact Leesa Huston at email@example.com or at260.426.7357 ext 136.
Friday, November 22 – Free HBO Documentary Screening of “American Winter,”: Free movie screening at 6:30 pm at the University of St. Francis north campus (in the former Abundant Life Church on Spring Street): The community is invited to a free screening of this powerful documentary focusing on real families in our country and how homelessness impacts them. The showing will take place at: University of St. Francis North Campus Auditorium, 2702 Spring Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46808. Doors open at 5:30 pm; screening at 6:30 pm. Concessions will also be available. Join us after the screening for a special agency panel discussion about poverty and homelessness right here in our own community. For more information, contact Melissa Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 260.426.7357 ext 130.