Howard County Councilmember Dr. Calvin Ball is calling upon the community to observe national Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 11-19, by joining the “Breakfast for Grassroots” campaign to feed shelter residents.
Grassroots provides 24-hour crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and support to individuals and families with a personal, situational, mental health or shelter crisis.
Ball has launched a food drive for breakfast items, including fruit juice, individual servings of instant hot chocolate, cans of coffee, creamer and sugar, English muffins, jams and jellies, cereal and individual packages of oatmeal. Walmart and Target gift cards and Sunoco station gas cards are also needed. “Cash contributions are always welcome,” Ball said.
Last year Grassroots shelter programs supported 290 men, women and children who received services to help them achieve permanent housing. Another 877 people were served at the Day Resource Center, where the chronically homeless have the opportunity to pursue a new path in life.
“Supporting Grassroots is imperative to ending homelessness in Howard County because of the large role the shelter plays in the community,” Ball said. “Contributions from community members allow Grassroots to further its effort in providing the homeless with shelter and resources,” he added.
The Howard County Plan to End Homelessness, led by the Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services, includes a strategy of rapid re-housing for residents who experience homelessness. “Expediting the process of re-housing is a major goal of Grassroots,” Ball noted. “It is a partner with local government to reduce the incidence of poverty in Howard County.”
“Soon the winter months will be upon us,” Ball noted. “Conditions for people without stable housing are worsened during cold weather. Now is also the time when people are more inclined to be generous and share their good fortune. I urge our citizens to make donations to Grassroots today.”
Food items can be delivered to Grassroots, 6700 Freetown Rd., Columbia, MD, 21044. Contributions may be made by check or by credit at www.grassrootscrisis.org.
Click here to download a Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week flyer.