Homeless Awareness Week November 15-21
Lansing, MI – November 18, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Homelessness ends with a place to live. That is the message the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) in partnership with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) wants to drive home this week during Homeless Awareness Week in Michigan. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has issued a proclamation designating November 15-21 as the official week for this year’s homeless awareness activities.
“Given the other issues that are affecting Michigan, including high unemployment and a growing number of foreclosures, many people are at risk of becoming homeless for the first time in their lives,” said MCAH executive director Jason Weller. “Homeless Awareness Week is a great opportunity to not only learn about how your community is responding to the issue of homelessness, but to take some time to give back as well.”
Homeless Awareness Week is a statewide campaign to educate the public about the many reasons people are homeless, the shortage of affordable housing for low income families, and the diligent work that homeless assistance providers are doing to bring relief to those most in need. MCAH and MSHDA are spearheading this year’s efforts through Michigan’s 10-Year Campaign to End Homelessness. The Campaign is comprised of sixty organizations across the state whose members are working every day of the year to make stable, sustainable, and affordable housing available to every person in Michigan. The designated week is intended to focus attention and raise public awareness but the dedication to ending homelessness by tireless care providers is ongoing throughout the year.
Homelessness affects every community in Michigan – all age groups, all racial and ethnic groups, and families with children as well as individuals. In 2008 there were over 86,000 homeless individuals across the state, which is a 10 percent increase from 2007, and projections for 2009 do not predict a decrease. Contrary to traditional stereotypes, families with children were one of the fastest growing groups of people who became homeless in 2008 with over 17,000 children experiencing homelessness sometime last year.
“Michigan citizens from all walks of life are encouraged to volunteer or make a donation to one of the local programs working to help solve the problems faced by homeless people, while at the same time our leaders are working toward long-term solutions,” added Weller.
For additional information, visit the Campaign Web site at www.thecampaigntoendhomelessness.comor the Homeless Awareness Week Web site at www.mihomelessweek.org.
The Campaign to End Homelessness: A Declaration
Homelessness ends with a place to live. Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness is driven by public and private groups across the state, working together toward a single goal: making stable, sustainable, and affordable housing available to every person in Michigan. This goal guides our more than 60 dedicated and coordinated partner organizations. Together, we know that:
We must plan together, focusing all of our energies on the single goal of permanent, affordable housing for every individual and family in Michigan.
We must understand that homelessness is a risk that we all share – people of all means, of all backgrounds, of all abilities, in all regions.
We must be willing to speak in one voice, throughout our communities, for the need for supportive housing and systems-based solutions to make housing for all an accessible reality.
Because only through our united efforts can homelessness be eradicated in Michigan.
Jason Weller, Executive Director
Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH)
Mary Lou Keenon
MSHDA Communications Office