Did you know that many children in Northern Kentucky are homeless? According to a study by the American Institute for Research and The National Center on Family Homelessness, Kentucky was ranked 50th among the states. If you are like me, this is shocking. I want to understand more about this issue, what is being done to address it in Northern Kentucky and how I might best be able to get involved.
It’s just a few days after Thanksgiving, the day we as a nation give thanks for the blessings and abundance that so many enjoy. Most likely you are getting things ready for the holidays and thinking about the wonderful time you are going to have with family and friends. I know that I cannot wait to enjoy the time with my girls.
What if instead, Thanksgiving was just another day on the streets? What if instead of joy, the start of the holiday season brought only another season of struggle? What if, instead of gathering in the warmth of family and friends, the day only marked another day without a home?
Join me on Thursday, December 10th at 6:30pm at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Public Library for the Northern Kentucky Forum’s event, Homelessness: Examining Causes, Finding Solutions. This forum will focus on who the homeless are, how many homelessness people are in our community and how big the problem of homelessness is in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. The forum will help us learn what we can do to make a difference.
Panelists will include:
• Kevin Finn, President & CEO, Strategies to End Homelessness
• Kim Webb, Executive Director, Emergency Shelter of NKY
• Linda Young, Executive Director, Welcome House
• Kelly Blevins, homeless education coordinator, Kenton Co. School District
Marianne Scott, Human Services Specialist with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, will present an overview of homelessness in our region as well.
All attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate.
The issue of Homelessness in our region is significant but there are many organizations looking to identify solutions that will really benefit not just Northern Kentucky but our region as a whole. There are a number of things that you can your family can do this year to really make a difference in our community. Here are just a few ideas:
• The Campbell County Library is asking you to “Drop Your Drawers” to help kids in need at Campbell County elementary schools. The donations will help replenish the school’ supplies of emergency underpants. The need is great. Schools are handing out 30-80 pairs a month. http://www.cc-pl.org/drop-your-drawers
• The Brighton Center has a number of opportunities to get involved in order to help struggling families. From participating in their holiday drive, sponsoring a wish tree, adopting a family or donating some gently used toys there are lots of ways for your family to make a difference. http://www.brightoncenter.com/get_involved/holiday-drive
• Henry Hosea House is accepting donations of food for its pantry and to assemble Thanksgiving baskets for Northern Kentucky families. To donate a Thanksgiving basket call Karen Yates at (859) 261-5857 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Welcome House always has specific needs to help its clients and to help in its mission to end homelessness. Please contact the Development Department at (859) 431-8717 or email email@example.com.
• The Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky relies on cash donations as well as donations of food, paper products, clothing, cleaning items and personal hygiene items. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Thursday, December 10th
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Auditorium, Covington Branch, Kenton County Public Library
502 Scott Street
Admission: This event is FREE and open to the public.
About the Northern Kentucky Forum
The Northern Kentucky Forum is a partnership of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Skyward and Legacy - three nonpartisan groups in Northern Kentucky dedicated to public engagement. The Forum conducts several "public square" events each year around current events and public policy in locations across Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties. Forum events are free and the Northern Kentucky community as a whole.