By Jessica Mathews /

November is National Homeless Awareness Month and officials are pushing people to get educated and recognize that homelessness happens in Livingston County.

The Homeless Continuum of Care says the theme of this year’s campaign is “Be Informed. Advocate. Donate. The Keys of Change!” People are asked to advocate for change in the community and reduce stigma around homelessness and donate their time or funds to help support Livingston County residents experiencing homelessness. The HCCC kicked off awareness-raising efforts with a T-Shirt sale. A community awareness day was held Wednesday, with people encouraged to use the hashtags #endhomelessnesslivco and @homelessccc on their social media platforms. People were further encouraged to wear purple, which is the color of homelessness awareness. The social media campaign will have a key theme each week. The theme last week was focused on learning who is impacted by homelessness in Livingston County. The week of November 16th will highlight the agencies working on homelessness in the community and how people can help. The final week of November 23rd, success stories from the community will be shared.

Amy West is the Street Outreach Specialist at Livingston Family Center and a member of the Homeless Awareness Month Committee. She commented that Homeless Awareness Month is about bringing awareness to the problem, noting many people don’t believe it happens in Livingston County but it does. West said this month is a time to be informed, understand the problem and the unique causes of homelessness in the community while advocating for change and funding. She encourages people to donate their time to understanding, volunteer with a local agency, or donate money to support the various efforts, which are the keys of change that will improve the lives of those in the community.

The Homeless Continuum of Care released its updated Housing Fact Sheet, which seeks to increase community awareness of the state of housing locally. Officials say the future of Livingston County lies in its ability to provide a broader array of housing options to meet the changing needs of its residents and attract younger generations.

More information about Homeless Awareness Month can be found through the provided web link, attached press release and attached fact sheet.