Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is a nationally recognized annual event that focuses on advocacy, volunteerism, education, and fundraising. Historically held the week before Thanksgiving, it’s a great way to get involved in your community before kicking off the holiday season. In the Midlands, November 13-17 is packed with events from Aiken, Richland, Kershaw, and York counties; hosted by nonprofit agencies, faith based congregations, community volunteers, teachers, students, and business leaders alike.
This year, for the first time ever, we are fortunate to have Henry McMaster, the Governor of South Carolina, declare November 2017 Hunger & Homelessness Awareness month in an official proclamation to be presented at the MACH Prayer Breakfast. This is a significant opportunity to advocate for the “nearly 795,000 South Carolinians who lack consistent access to nutritionally adequate foods due to economic hardship and a lack of resources” and over 17,600 individuals, including children, who received homeless services statewide in 2016.
Additionally, the City of Columbia continues their support in the fight to end homelessness by sponsoring a proclamation recognizing November 13-17 as Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. We are thankful for the funding that they continually dedicate for shelters and services. Without their thoughtful leadership, so many people would not have a place to sleep at night. I am thankful for the collaboration between providers, citizens, and people who are experiencing homelessness. One entity cannot solve these crises alone.
Many of us are lucky to have a home of our own, but unfortunately some of us do not. This is an opportunity for our community to come together and spend time to reflect on a cause that is so important. We believe that everybody should have safe, adequate, and affordable housing. We believe that housing is healthcare. We have made great strides towards this effort, and allow ourselves to celebrate these achievements. We invite each of you to join us.