October 23, 2017  

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National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Activities Draw Attention to Needs of Area Homeless Families with Children

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Homelessness is a devastating experience for families with children. Many families prepare to make a new home with no groceries and no home goods. National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 11-19, is held the week before Thanksgiving each year to focus on community solutions to people experiencing homelessness.

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies’ (IDS) Project Recovery Rapid Re-housing program assists homeless families with children in Forrest, Adams, Pike, Lauderdale and Marion counties. As part of this year’s Hunger and Homelessness Week activities, IDS is launching a “Gifting to the Needy” drive to collect monetary gift cards and/or household items for homeless families as they transition from shelters into stable housing.

This drive will begin now and last through Nov. 19. On Nov. 21, IDS will host the third, “Voices of Homelessness Seminar.” Two formerly homeless Project Recovery clients will tell their stories of the life events that led to their family’s homelessness.

Project Recovery specializes in providing services for homeless families with children. To be eligible for this program, families must be literally homeless - which is defined as living on the street or sleeping in places not meant for human habitation such as cars, abandoned buildings, or parks or residing in shelters.

Services available include up to one to two months of financial assistance toward locating, obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. Eligible families must also have the capacity to financially maintain housing and have a verifiable income such as employment, child support or Social Security.

Transitioning back into the community can be difficult for Project Recovery clients. During this process, case managers refer homeless families to every possible resource to assist them in maintaining housing. Supplies provided by the “Gifting” drive will be provided to Project Recovery families and children moving back into the community from shelters.

For more information, call IDS case managers Tracy Coleman 601-266-5627, Tanya Smith 601-266-6063 or DeMetra Bates at 601.266.5853.

Project Recovery is funded by Mississippi United to End Homelessness Continuum of Care Permanent Housing with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).