Nov. 8, 2006 — Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has proclaimed Nov. 12-18 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, giving V.I. residents an opportunity to join the nationwide effort to highlight the problem facing many in our community who are without food and shelter. According to a press release issued Wednesday by Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, this years theme is entitled "Commit to end homelessness in the U.S. Virgin Islands."
The weeklong observance, co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, is traditionally held one week before Thanksgiving in an effort to bring greater awareness to the plight of the homeless and those without assurance of a daily meal.
According to the release, this is the fourth year the V.I. Alliance Against Homelessness Continuum of Care will participate in this national endeavor. The weeks activities are being coordinated by Methodist Training and Outreach Center, the central outreach center for the territory, together with other participating agencies.
The week begins with a day of prayer. Churches have been requested to dedicate their Sabbath or Sunday service to the homeless and to encourage their members to donate nonperishable food and household goods to the territorys shelters and soup kitchens.
On Monday, the community is invited to join Continuum of Care members for a kickoff march at 5 p.m. from Schneider Hospital — or the Department of Human Services or Emile Griffith Park — to Emancipation Garden.
Wednesday, the community is again invited to donate nonperishable food goods, as well as household items, which can be dropped off at the following locations:
St. Thomas: Methodist Training & Outreach Center, 11-A Kronprindsen Gade, 714-7782
St. Croix: Catholic Charities, 32-A King Street (rear), 773-0132
St. John: Safety Zone, Lumber Yard Complex (above the Ice Co.), 693-7233
The release also notes that Continuum of Care members will also appear on various radio and television shows to discuss the issues and causes of homelessness and how the community can assist.
The week on St. Croix will culminate at 5 p.m. Friday with an "Evening of Dining" for the homeless, and Saturday on St. Thomas with a "Feed the Homeless" activity from 9 a.m. at Market Square. Lunch and refreshment will be served, and service providers will be on hand to disseminate information about their services.
Anyone who would like to assist in this effort can call Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands at 777-8518 or Methodist Training and Outreach Center at 714-7782.
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