Events helped bring hunger, homelessness to attention

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The week of Nov. 10–18 was National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. Walla Walla, along with communities across the United States, held events to recognize the ongoing needs of many of their neighbors.

The Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners proclaimed it Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week locally, stating they “recognize that hunger and homelessness continues to be a serious problem for many individuals and families in Walla Walla County.” They concluded by encouraging “all citizens to recognize that many people do not have housing and need support from citizens, and private/public nonprofit service entities.”

During the week the Interfaith Coalition on Poverty displayed an interactive information board at Land Title Plaza that encouraged passersby to take a local poverty statistics quiz. Many people participated, including a formerly homeless teen, a father and his two young boys, an individual in recovery from alcohol addiction, and a mother and her teenage daughter.

As they took the quiz they also took the time to talk with their community neighbors sharing their surprise, knowledge, ideas and opinions.

It was heartwarming on cold evenings to meet people willing to discuss hunger and homelessness and expressing the desire to do something about it. During the candlelight vigil, a local woman shared her story of homelessness but also one of hope.

It is through activities like this that awareness turns to action. There are many wonderful nonprofit and government funded social service agencies that could use our help through donations and volunteering.

We appreciate having a community that cares. Each of us will make a difference; together we can create change.

Tim Meliah

Walla Walla

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