Thursday, November, 17, 2005

Sleepover Friday will draw attention to homelessness

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will be observed in Holly Springs Friday night with a sleepover in front of City Hall.

The sleep out is to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness.

Despite the fact that the United States is the richest country in the world, each year 33 million Americans live with the daily reality of hunger. A recent report by the US Conference of Mayors found that 38 percent of the people requesting emergency food assistance and 22 percent of people experiencing homelessness are employed. So, who are the hungry and homeless? And why?

In observation of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Marshall County Community Development Corporation, MCCDC, will host “One Night Without A Home,” from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. in front of City Hall on Friday, Nov. 18. Although one night outside can in no way simulate homelessness, this 12-hour awareness sleep out is an opportunity for community participants to experience, discuss, think, and learn about hunger and homelessness in our community.

MCCDC is a 501 (c) 3 organization with a mission to provide emergency shelter and food to the homeless, to promote and develop affordable housing for low and moderate income families; to enhance education and life skills which would ensure family stability; to promote economic development and growth; and to foster community involvement in all the above. MCCDC operates the only emergency shelter, New Hope Village, within seven counties: Marshall, Benton, Tippah, Alcorn, Union, Lafayette, and Pontotoc. It offers emergency assistance to burnout victims and those experiencing a tragic event. On any given month an average of 50 families are provided food from the Food Pantry, and as many as 15 families are provided clothing assistance from the Clothes Closet.

Even before the disastrous effects of Hurricane Katrina, people who experience hunger and homelessness were surviving day-to-day through the goodwill of volunteer organizations such as MCCDC. MCCDC appreciates the generosity of the City of Holly Springs, Williams Medical Center, Alliance HealthCare Systems, Collins Hurdle VFW Post 5697, and others who support our efforts. On Saturday, November 12 Total Change of Heart Ministries hosted the Benevolent Banquet, a fundraising event with proceeds to support New Hope Village.

To learn more about how you can become involved with the issues of hunger and homelessness, contact MCCDC at 662-607-2802 or 662-252-4688.

For information about National Hunger and Homelessness Week, visit the web at

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