National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week – November 9 – 18

As the holidays approach, people take time to consider what they’re thankful for and many choose to donate some of their time, attention, and resources to others. In that spirit of giving, each year the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week the week prior to Thanksgiving.

HOTEL INC has partnered with Tony and Jayne Pelaski, the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, Forever Communications, and Wendy’s of Bowling Green to use this window of time to raise awareness and funds to help combat and end hunger and homelessness in Warren County.

Nationwide, 43.1 million Americans live below the poverty level. Nearly half a million are homeless on a typical night, while 42 million are suffering from hunger. One in five children lives in poverty. It’s easy to think we don’t have problems like this in our local community. Conversations about these topics are often uncomfortable or tense, but we can’t ignore the fact that many people are having a hard time making ends meet.

HOTEL INC serves three specific areas…

  1. Hunger and Food Insecurity

Chances are someone you know is hungry, and they aren’t telling you. They are our neighbors, grandparents, co-workers, children and more. In Warren County, one in six people do not know where their next meal is coming from or how they will pay for it.

“I’ve just gotten off work. My kids are hungry. It’s okay that I’m hungry but not my kids.” -Single parent with no child support or SNAP

Manna Mart (HOTEL INC’s food pantry) is committed to providing nutritionally balanced and seasonal local foods in a manner that offers choice and dignity to all recipients.

“My husband and I are retired. We have $8 per week left after medical expenses and housing to pay for food. Without this pantry, I don’t know what we would do. The fresh food is really helpful for our health. It’s what the doctor wants us to eat all the time.” -Senior Citizen who suffers from chronic hunger

  1. Homelessness and Housing

The top causes of homelessness in our community include domestic violence, divorce or separation, rent burdened (paying over 30% of net income for rent), job loss, chronic health issues, substance use, and untreated mental health.

Working together to identify the barriers and solutions to maintain permanent housing is a different path for each household. At HOTEL INC, the housing navigators are available to work on short and long term needs and goals. This includes financial literacy, housing education, and working through their plan for stability.

“You are helping to restore me to housing, not just providing a check. And the services to assure my success.” -Veteran who experienced homelessness

The Drop-In Center at HOTEL INC provides basic services and housing navigators for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. It gives people the opportunity to receive mail or phone messages, take a shower or do laundry, and apply for housing, SNAP, employment, health insurance, and more.

  1. Street Medicine

What happens when you are sick? Most of us take a day off work, go to the doctor if needed, and have friends or family that can help out with food or the kids if needed. But what if you are without a home? Without a support system? For the past six years, HOTEL INC’s Street Medicine volunteers and staff have been meeting people where they are and helping to heal their wounds and illnesses. The teams provide a connection to health care and advocacy when needed, as well as housing or other services needed in the community.

“Thank you for all you do and how much you helped me.” -Gentleman experiencing homelessness and navigating heart disease

Did you know that the average age of death while living on the street is 48-52? HOTEL INC’s Street Medicine team makes rounds to develop relationships with our neighbors experiencing homelessness to create opportunity for them to live healthier lives with access to medical care. In the fall of 2017, HOTEL INC opened a Transitional Medical Respite Home. With a medical referral, this gives people who are ill or recovering from a procedure a place to heal, and from there, begin to work on permanent housing.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Activities

Friday November 9

Proclamation at City Hall, 9 a.m.

Saturday November 10

Week Long Food and Hygiene Drive Begins (Beaver 96.7 FM, WUHU 107.1 FM, and Willie 107.9 FM) Drop off at 1919 Scottsville Road

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Exhibit at Greenwood Mall Opens to Public

Sunday November 11

Matthew 25 Day with area churches; register your church today via email info@hotelincbg.com

Monday November 12

Lunch and Learn at HOTEL INC, 12:30-1:30 p.m. (Sponsored by Forever Communications). Register by emailing director@hotelincbg.com

Tuesday November 13

Chili and Cornbread Luncheon at First Christian Church, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Lunch includes Wendy’s chili, cornbread, apple, dessert, and water. Dine in, take out, or have it delivered within the Bowling Green city limits. Tickets available online at HOTELINCBG.com

Wednesday November 14

Emmy winning Street Medicine Documentary Screening followed by Q&A, Warren County Public Library Main Branch, 1:30, 2:30, & 6:30 p.m.

Thursday November 15

Film screening of “The Soloist,” 7 p.m., Grace & Peace Church, Sugar Maple Square, 1347 HWY 185, Suite 10. Followed by Q&A with HOTEL INC and LifeSkills

 Saturday November 17

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Walk, Circus Square Park (downtown). Registration at 8 a.m., walk at 9 a.m. Free t-shirt to participants who raise $100 or more!

Sunday November 18

– Hunger & Homelessness Exhibit at Greenwood Mall Closes

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Sponsors: Tony & Jayne Pelaski, Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, Forever Communications, Wendy’s of Bowling Green, Broadway United Methodist Church, Bowling Green Junior Women’s Club, Currie & Judy Milliken, Citizens First Bank, Liberty Printing, Teresa’s Restaurant, Country Oven, Grace Church of Bowling Green, Gail Gregory, DDS ENGINEERING PLLC, and Jackson’s Orchard

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