Each year, during the week prior to Thanksgiving, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Home¬lessness cosponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Throughout this week, schools and communi¬ties take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.
For more than a decade, Safe Harbour has hosted the “One Night Without a Home” event, offering members of our Central Pennsylvania communities the opportunity to participate in this national effort. Although homeless persons are not always visible in Cumberland County, there is a demand for shelter and supportive services to assist individuals and families. Safe Harbour offers many of these services as part of its mission to help them achieve independent living by increasing their basic life skills. “One Night Without a Home” is a powerful and fun way to increase awareness about homelessness while engaging the community in raising funds to support Safe Harbour.
“In the past, it’s been very impressive that individuals, families, youth groups, church groups, and college students from throughout Cumberland County have been willing to put themselves outside on a late fall evening to raise money for homeless individuals and families that they’ve never met,” said Ed Bidelspach, F & M Trust assistant vice president and chair of the Safe Harbour Board of Directors. “With this event happening so close to Thanksgiving each year it reminds all of us to be thankful for our families, our homes and the food on our tables.”
Individuals, families, youth groups, church groups, high school students and clubs, and college students from throughout Central Pennsylvania are encouraged to participate in this year’s event to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness in our communi¬ties, while raising crucial funds for the opera¬tion of Safe Harbour programs.
Participants will spend a night outside on the Dickinson College quadrangle, sleeping in makeshift shelters that they design and make from materials they bring. Typically, these shelters are made of boxes, newspaper, duct tape, and other material. To raise funds for Safe Harbour, they will seek donations from friends, families, church congregations, and community members to contribute to a vital community resource.
Individuals and group leaders can obtain a registration packet for the 2013 “One Night Without a Home” by contacting Scott K. Shewell, Safe Harbour Vice President for Community Relations and Development, by telephone at (717) 249-2200, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All groups with participants under 18 years of age must have adult chaperones. Safe Harbour recommends one chaperone per eight students. Adult chaperones will be responsible for providing supervision for their group and should have emergency contact infor¬mation for each person.
Safe Harbour provides a continuum of housing services for homeless individuals and families in Cumberland County. Safe Harbour’s services include operating an emergency shelter for families and single females who are in desperate need of a secure place to live and an environment to
begin getting their lives under control; a bridge housing program that helps individuals and families in need of longer-term assistance to continue acquiring the skills necessary for independent living and a productive life style; and single-room-occupancy (SRO) permanent housing facilities that offer housing opportunities to single individuals who are ready for independent living, but need additional “life support.”