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National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Co-sponsored by: National Coalition for the Homeless and
National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness

November 14-20, 2010

*Click here to read the 2010 Awareness Week manual (html form).*

*Click here to download the 2010 Awareness Week manual (pdf form).*

Each year, one week before Thanksgiving, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During this week, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness. If your community has already joined this effort, this guide can serve as an evaluator for past efforts and possibly offer fresh ideas for the future. If this is your first time participating, this guide will explain how your community can get involved!

Why?

Organizing events will not seem very substantial if you do not stop to ask: Why is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week so important? Participating in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week not only brings greater awareness to your community, but also helps to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. The plight of those without a home can be both lonely and difficult. Addressing their struggles by organizing and participating in this week may bring greater solidarity and understanding, as well as promote future involvement. Events, such as "One Night Without a Home," help people realize the difficulties that homeless persons daily face. Talk about these issues with your coordinators and discuss what impact such an event might have on your community. It is imperative to dispel myths that label homelessness as someone else's problem or claim that an end to homelessness is impossible.

When?

November 14-20, 2010. Early planning is important. Begin recruiting interested people, outlining and planning events, and contacting organizations that might be interested in helping and/or participating. The more time you spend on organizing now, the better the week will go in November. Remember that the week does not have to be full of events. Especially if you are just starting out, it might be better to choose one or two events, which will be dynamic and focused. The solution to hunger and homelessness will not happen in one week, but a dedicated and timely effort in planning your week will contribute greatly to the endeavor.

How?

First things first: you need a team. Putting together a dedicated and enthusiastic team is important for a successful week. You may already know many people who would like to join the effort. Don't be afraid to ask those whom you think would not be interested - you may be surprised. Look within community organizations that you are involved with. Even if you are not active in a particular group, you can look around for groups that may already be active in hunger and homelessness. It is important to talk to people about your ideas both to promote interest and to get feedback. Discuss some of the events that you plan to do and be open to changes and new ideas. It is important to know the community you will be working with and to try to adapt the events accordingly. After forming a team, it is important to decide on the logistics as soon as possible. Here is a sample check list of some, but not all, questions which need answers:

  • How many and which events should we plan for?
  • When should the events take place?
  • How many people should coordinate each event?
  • Who should handle publicity?
  • What is the best meeting time (preferably weekly) for everyone?
  • What community organizations would help us by co-sponsoring the week?
  • Who knows how to organize things in the community well?

*Click here to read the 2010 Awareness Week manual (html form).*

*Click here to download the 2010 Awareness Week manual (pdf form).*

 

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