Nov. 10, 2004 The homeless people who live on the streets of St. Croix will be recognized next week during "National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week," Nov. 14-20, proclaimed by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
The territory's participation is part of a national effort. One week before Thanksgiving each year the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor the week. This year's theme is "Bringing America Home."
This is the second year the V.I. Alliance Against Homelessness Continuum of Care will take part in the endeavor. The program is being coordinated by the Methodist Training and Outreach Center, the central outreach center for the territory.
On St. Croix, the St. Croix Mission Outreach, the St. Croix Christian Church and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council are organizing the activities.
Chainie Lang, Mission Outreach director, talked about the effort Wednesday. The Outreach, she said, is just one year old this month. It is a not-for-profit agency formed by concerned citizens, and it is funded from private foundations, she said.
"We work with the homeless, and those with minimal substance abuse problems," she said. "Part of what we do is try to get people off-island where they can receive treatment. It's on a case by case basis," she said.
The week's activities are:
– Nov. 14 – Religious institutions are asked to begin the awareness week by focusing a service moment on the homeless in recognition of those who are experiencing the effects of hunger and homelessness in the Virgin Islands.
– Nov. 15-19 – Food drive. The community is asked to donate non-perishable food items, blankets, comforters and personal care items. They can be deposited in bins at all post offices, and at both Plaza Extra Supermarkets.
– Nov. 16 – 9 a.m. – Roger W. Morgan Radio Show "Free Speech" at 93.5 FM. Guests will be representatives from agencies servicing the homeless and the hungry.
– Nov. 16 – A day of prayer and fasting. The public is asked to set aside a special time of prayer for the homeless.
– Nov. 20 – For those observing Saturday as a day of worship, religious institutions are asked to focus on the homeless and the hungry.
Lang said the food donations will be distributed to the pantries that serve food to the homeless –
My Brother's Table, St. Croix Project Help, Lighthouse Mission, Catholic Soup Kitchen, Bethlehem Shelter and the Women's Coalition Shelter.
For more information, call Lang at 778-4357, or Pastor Moore, St. Croix Christian Church at 778-3130.
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