Events mark National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in the Ann Arbor area

Week-long initiative organized by the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Credit: Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

ANN ARBOR - Every year, during the week before Thanksgiving, communities across the U.S. observe National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County at the Delonis Center is is sponsoring a full week of events to raise awareness of hunger, homelessness and those it impacts in the county.

Below is the full schedule of events:

Friday, Nov. 9

Art Expo/Poetry/Storytelling
6:00 p.m.
Ypsilanti Freight House, 100 Market Pl., Ypsilanti

Credit: Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

"Join us at the Ypsilanti Freight House at 6:00 p.m. to hear stories, testimonies and poetry from your neighbors with experiences in homelessness. You will have the opportunity to view and purchase art created by those who have experienced homelessness, with all the proceeds going back to the artist. This event is a coordinated effort of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County and the Washtenaw Housing Alliance as well as other area agencies, including Avalon Housing, MAP, Ozone, IHN, SOS, SafeHouse, Housing Bureau for Seniors, MISSION and Groundcover News. This event is free but please register so we have a headcount."

Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11

Service Weekend
Select area congregations

"Faith communities will focus their religious services on homelessness/hunger issues. You can plan prayer breakfasts or meetings, candlelight vigils or informational displays, whatever speaks to your congregation’s moral and spiritual commitment to providing for those in needs. We encourage a call to action that challenges members to become more involved with the homeless community and volunteer at the shelter. Communities can also choose to sponsor a collections drive while they raise awareness about homelessness and the impact the shelter is making in the community."

Sunday, Nov. 11

Documentary Showing "Us and Them"
2:30 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church, second-floor Gathering Room (1501 W Liberty St., Ann Arbor)

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Campus Sleep Out
University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College campuses
7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the following day

"At this event, volunteers spend a night outside – typically for 12 hours, from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. – to increase visibility about the problem of homelessness. You can choose to have your volunteers sleep outside in sleeping bags, cardboard boxes, or tents. While most of the night will be spent sleeping, we'll help fill the first couple of hours with speakers, discussions and activities to educate participants about homelessness. Although one night outside can in no way simulate real homelessness, this activity can raise awareness amongst participants and the campus community."

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Stand Up Stand Out
10:30 a.m., Liberty Plaza, Ann Arbor

"This 60-minute challenge begins with registration and kick off at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor and ends at noon.  Volunteer teams on the streets of Ann Arbor will walk up to as many individuals as they can during this one-hour period and share three quick facts about the shelter as well as a card brigade. They will ask their new acquaintance to take a photo with them for our Social Media Blitz before moving on to share with more people in this fun FRIEND-raiser. We recommend dressing in colorful outfits to grab attention (think capes, tutus, get creative!)."

Credit: Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

Thursday, Nov. 15

Fasting Challenge

"The fasting challenge provides a small glimpse into the choices low-income Americans must make each day. Participants can abstain from eating for the full day and post a message on social media and print and post this flyer at their workspace Alternatively, you can put yourself on a realistic budget for a person on food assistance. Find out how little food $4 a day buys and how difficult, if not impossible, it is to eat a balanced diet on $28 weekly."

Put a Roof on It - Comedy for a Cause
8:00 p.m., Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase (212 S. 4th Ave.)

"This annual event is our funniest FUNdraiser of the year. Derick Lengwenus will entertain at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase with all proceeds going to the SAWC. Tickets are just $20. The show begins at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. The event will also feature a 50/50 raffle."

Purchase tickets here.

Friday, Nov. 16

Move Out and Dine In
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Delonis Center, 312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor

"When our clients move into permanent housing, we try to start them out right, setting them up with the supplies all households need. We're asking you to fill a box with the things you would want starting out. 
Drop off a box at the Delonis Center between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and enjoy some free pizza and our gratitude!"

Saturday, Nov. 17

Day of Caring
9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Delonis Center, 312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor

"Join us for a 1- or 2-hour shift from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to help with special projects around the shelter. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome. If you can bring extra cleaning supplies, we appreciate it!"

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