Plans are underway for an annual event that informs the community about the prevalence of homelessness in Livingston County.

Homeless Awareness Week is set for the third week in November and event organizers have already coordinated several activities to take place. Each year, the Livingston County Homeless Continuum of Care Committee (HCCC) works to educate residents about the realities of homelessness in the county and what can be done to help those in need. Committee chair Terri Ariss says just because homelessness may not appear to be prominent in the area, doesn’t mean that’s the case. In fact, she reports that just last year there were over 1,000 individuals in the county who were homeless or at risk of soon becoming so.

Awareness activities kick off November 11th with a bake sale to benefit programs provided by the HCC that serve individuals who are either at risk of becoming homeless or already are. A paint and pour event will also be held to raise funds for the services. The main event will be held at the Howell Opera House, which includes raffles, a student artwork display, and guest speakers. A movie that speaks to the issue will be shown at the Historic Howell movie theater.

Lastly, the committee is utilizing social media to draw attention to homelessness. Cardboard cutouts called “somebodies” emblazoned with statistics or personal stories will be placed throughout the county. The community is encouraged to take a picture of the somebodies and post them on social media with the hashtag “HAW2017”.

Ariss hopes the awareness campaign will lead to understanding about the many different faces and situations of homelessness. (DK)