As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, people take time to consider what they’re thankful for and donate some of their time, attention and resources to those less fortunate. In the spirit of thankfulness and giving, each year the Lee County Homeless Coalition sets aside the week prior to Thanksgiving to sponsor the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Last year during this week, several individuals, community groups and faith-based groups from Lee County came together to bring awareness to the issues of hunger and homelessness.
The Homeless Challenge is a week long event being coordinated by the Lee County Homeless Coalition to help raise awareness for the thousands of homeless citizens in our area during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (November 16-24). The Homeless Coalition will sponsor several activities during this week focusing on community engagement. Activities can be as simple as reading a book about homelessness, collecting donations for a food pantry, or more challenging such as sleeping on the streets or using transit transportation for an entire week. The event will serve as an educational tool providing awareness to those who participate. Several businesses, non-profits, Churches and organizations have agreed to participate. A “Night on the Streets” is planned for November 23. Participants will live on the streets as a person experiencing homelessness. This Challenge will provide a life-altering experience with the power to effect change.
Those who are participating in a “Night on the Streets” will meet 11:00 a.m., Saturday at CCMI’s Soup Kitchen located at 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers. Participants will join together for a meal and then will attempt to live homeless and hungry, foregoing sleeping in their own beds and facing similar situations that affect the homeless until 10:00 a.m., Sunday, Nov.24. Participants will agree to attempt the following:
- Not reside in their home
- Use public transportation or bicycles
- Use public restroom facilities
- Carry only what they can fit in a small knapsack
- Limit their food budget to $1 per day or eat at soup kitchens/churches, etc.