MACH hosts ‘sleep-out’ to mark National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:34 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -This week is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and the Mid Alabama Coalition for the Homeless is inviting you to get a first-hand understanding of what it means not to have a place to sleep.

MACH is hosting what it calls the “not-a-bed” sleep-out.

“National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a time for all of us who are fortunate enough to have our basic needs met to think about those among us who are in need,” said Lydia Pickett, Executive Director of MACH. “This national observance has not been previously commemorated in the Montgomery area, so this is MACH’s inaugural event, during which time we hope to educate and inspire our community to take strategic steps towards ending homelessness in the River Region.

On any given night, hundreds of people are homeless in our area. According to the MACH, more than 75 people are sleeping with any shelter, more than 60 people in our area are chronically homeless, and more than 250 people are in emergency shelters. Those include veterans, domestic violence survivors, youth, families with children, senior citizens, people with mental illnesses, and people with chronic health conditions.

Pickett says that Montgomery can create a template that can be replicated in multiple jurisdictions with the right level of commitment and planning.

MACH’s “Not-a-Bed” sleep-out will be held next to River City Church in the parking lot this Friday. Residents are encouraged to sleep out to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness and experience what it is like to be unhoused. There will be a candlelight march from the Court Square Fountain, guest speakers, live music, and a mobile soup kitchen for dinner.

Participants are encouraged to make food donations which will be given to Montgomery Area Food Bank and hygiene items, gloves, hats, and socks for “Stuff the Buggies,” You can also donate to “Feed the Meter” for the homeless or “Sleep-Out at Home” and submit pictures.

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