A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY agencies join together to raise awareness of hunger, homelessness; event at Mad Hatter Park

A large group of agencies has come together to raise awareness around homelessness in Northern Kentucky during the week of November 10-18.

Partners in the project include: Boone County Schools, Campbell County Schools, Covington Independent Public Schools, Dayton Schools, Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky, Erlanger/Elsmere School District, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky’s Horizon Community Accelerator, Kenton County Public Library, Kenton County Schools, Newport Schools, NKCAC, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and Welcome House.

The agenda for the week includes a community event on Wednesday, November 14 at the newly renovated Mad Hatter park, located at 620 Scott Street in Covington. The event aims to build awareness around homelessness and to bring Northern Kentuckians together, regardless of where they will sleep that night. Live music and a warm meal will be offered to all attending.

The 2018 K-Count reported nearly 3,700 people experiencing homelessness across Kentucky.

The K-Count, also referred to as the Point-In-Time Count, is a count of homeless Kentuckians sleeping in places not meant for human habitation, such as the street, tents, abandoned buildings, post offices, bus stations, etc.

“We are so proud and excited to take part of this national week, which is dedicated to eradicating homelessness and hunger,” says Danielle Amrine, CEO of Welcome House of Northern Kentucky. “We want to show our local community that homelessness is pervasive throughout Northern Kentucky and then provide them with the tools and resources to help those who are most in need.”

Locally, more than 4,000 children from preschool to 12th grade in Northern Kentucky school systems are experiencing homelessness.

“Children who experience prolonged homelessness are five times more likely than their non-homeless peers of becoming homeless as adults and youth experiencing homelessness in the US are 87% more likely to drop out of high school. It’s imperative that we, as community members, identify these children and provide educational support services in order to break the cycle of homelessness and assist them in reaching their greatest potential,” explains Shelley Warner, M.Ed, District Families in Transition Coordinator at Erlanger Elsmere School District. 

The group is also providing bins at locations across the community to collect hats, underwear, groceries, and socks (H.U.G.S.).

Those looking to donate can find the bins at CVG, Biggby Coffee in Fort Mitchell, Kenton County Court House, NKU Student Union, and the Covington City Building.

Donations can also be dropped off at Welcome House of Northern Kentucky at 1132 Greenup St.

The full schedule and more information can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

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