As November approaches, most of us experience the excitement and anticipation of the Holiday Season, with Thanksgiving the official kickoff. To thousands of others, November is just another month of challenges and heartache, if you are one of the homeless men, women and children living on the streets. To help make a difference in their lives, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month (HHAM), is spotlighting the needs of the homeless during the holidays.
HomeAid Houston is recognizing HHAM with their "Essentials Baskets" initiative, an ongoing partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County's - The Way Home program. The baskets are typically filled with donations of food, home items, hygiene products and gift cards.
Through this outreach initiative, HomeAid is also responding to the needs of the thousands of Houstonians who were affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey who lost everything.
"The Way Home program is an ideal opportunity to help the homeless on Houston's streets who are newly placed in temporary housing, and those affected by flood waters," said Bette Moser, executive director of HomeAid Houston. "We are requesting the "Essentials Baskets" include the basics home goods items that include new bedding, towels, shower curtains, kitchen utensils as well as hygiene and cleaning products to get folks back on their feet."
The Way Home is a collaborative model to prevent and end homelessness in Houston, Pasadena, Conroe and Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties. The program comprises more than 100 partners from all areas of the community, and is committed to making data-driven decisions to enact long-term, sustainable solutions for solving homelessness.
Many of the displaced have been staying in shelters for days and going into weeks, waiting on news about the prospect of returning home, and many of them will not be able to return any time soon, if at all.
Items can be collected for the baskets by individuals or organizations. HomeAid will help organize the items and identify the agencies that can ensure they are delivered to the appropriate people.
"Houston has always shown through rough times, that we are a community of generous hearts," added Moser. "Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month is hopefully an inspiration to others to reach out and help those who face uncertain times during the Season of Giving."
ABOUT THE WAY HOME
Since 2011, the partners of The Way Home have worked together to reduce overall homelessness by more than 57%. Houston is leading the nation in solving homelessness and is also a national model for other communities.