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Homeless Awareness Week important amid pandemic

While many of us have complained about being “stuck at home” during the COVID-19 pandemic, some area residents have had to endure months of this pandemic without a home, facing food insecurity and exposure to the elements while trying to avoid contracting the virus.

With the experiences of our unsheltered community members in mind, we believe it’s particularly important to observe Homelessness Awareness Week this year and participate in efforts to help those who are facing homelessness amid the pandemic.

Locally, the Alger-Marquette Local Planning Body is hosting a variety of events through Sunday for this year’s Homelessness Awareness Week, including Walk a Mile in Their Shoes awareness walks in Munising and Marquette, as well as a supply drive.

According to an announcement from organizers, the remaining events to be offered this week are:

≤ A community discussion via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Wednesday

≤ The Marquette Walk a Mile in Their Shoes awareness walk and supply drive at 9 a.m. Saturday at the YMCA of Marquette County in Marquette. Contact Kim at 906-458-1382 for more information.

≤ The Munising Walk a Mile in Their Shoes awareness walk and supply drive at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Binsfield Bayshore Park Pavilion in Munising. Contact Susan at 906-236-5864 to learn more.

The organization is also working with Superior Housing Solutions to hold a street outreach supply drive throughout the month.

The drive is collecting sleeping bags, coats, boots, hats, gloves, hand warmers, granola bars and Vitamin Water/Gatorade. Donors can drop items off in designated boxes at First Presbyterian Church, Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities, SAIL, Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul and the Peter White Library.

Contact Ryan at 248-563-9988 for more information about the supply drive.

People can also raise funds through Friday by participating in Escape Room Marquette’s Taking on Homelessness fundraiser for $60 a group, with proceeds benefitting local agencies on homelessness. Call Nick at 906-361-4152 for more information.

We hope our readers will consider participating in one of the awareness walks or donating to a supply drive, as area residents who are unsheltered or facing housing insecurity need our help, empathy and support more than ever in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and a quickly approaching winter.

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