Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series for National Homeless and Youth Awareness Month in November.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a home, or a warm place to sleep, or ample food to eat.
The Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition brought the crisis to the forefront of public’s mind on Nov. 18 when they set up a series of displays in Bradwell Park. Each display was based off of the real life sleeping arrangements of homeless people encountered by Coalition members.
Coalition Vice President Temperance West said the idea came to the group while they researched ways to bring attention to the homeless situation during National Homeless Awareness Month and Hunger and Homeless Awareness week. They settled on making a series of static displays to show the community how homeless people live and also that not all homelessness looks the same. Their display showed how some homeless people are able to live inside tents with blankets, some are left in meager surroundings such as a cardboard box, sleeping bag or the bare cold ground.
“In this area, we don’t necessarily see our homeless. And so to just give people an idea there are people who are out there living in tents or in boxes,” West stated. “Even though we don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.”
She also brought up the stigma that many people have against the homeless, many wondering why homeless simply don’t get a job. The unfortunate truth is employers require a home address before considering potential applicants.
This is the first year the Coalition has set up the displays but West hopes, considering the amount of attention they’ve received, it can happen again.
The Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition is a non-profit public charity which provides emergency assistance to people in need. To date the Coalition has spent more than $18,000 this year in provided emergency assistance.
For more information or to make a donation visit: https://libertyhomeless.org/