College partners with universities for homelessness awareness events

TEMP ORARY November 28, 2012 0

Elizabethtown College, in addition to Millersville University, Franklin & Marshall College and the United Way of Lancaster, provided activities to raise awareness for National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week, Nov. 10 through the Nov. 18.
Phalanx, Etown’s men’s a cappella singing group, performed on Nov. 15 at the Ware Center in Lancaster. Phalanx taught the children to beat box and allowed them to join the group on stage. The Center for Community and Civic Engagement provided crafts and snacks for the children attending the concert. Lancaster County Day School took pictures for the Faces of Homeless exhibit for additional awareness of homelessness in Lancaster.
Phalanx’s concert generated four boxes of food for the Lancaster County Council of Churches Food Bank and the Water Street Food Bank. In addition to donated items, the concert raised $711 to benefit the Council of Churches and the Coalition’s Heading Home Fund.
The Heading Home Fund provides funding for projects that increase permanent and affordable housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness as well as aid projects that support a “housing first” approach. According to the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness, evidence indicates the most successful way to end homelessness is to immediately move an individual or family into housing without the use of a shelter. A “housing first” approach focuses on finding permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Also highlighted at the event was O’Crocs Window of Awareness, an art installation to raise awareness about homeless children in Lancaster County. The piece of art, featuring decorated Croc shoes was part of an O Magazine sponsored contest won by The Sole Challenge, a non-profit organization in Lancaster. Kevin Lehman of the Lancaster Creative Factory created the outline of a house, which held 100 pairs of Crocs. The shoes will then be donated to the Lancaster Creative Factory after the display.
The National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored nationally by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness and the National Coalition for the Homeless. In 2010, the National Coalition for the Homeless formed the first National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week Planning Committee. The committee formed at the request of the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness to develop the local plans for the Coalition to support this event locally. Because the universities are a national sponsor, the committee reached out to local schools in Lancaster County. This year, the committee featured representatives from Lancaster County Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Early Intervention, one of the lead agencies for the Coalition’s Heading Home Fund. In addition, United Way of Lancaster County, Etown, Millersville University, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster County Day School, Lancaster Bible College and Harrisburg Area Community College all helped in the effort.

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