This year, for the first time, the National Council on Drug Abuse through the Tek it to Dem outreach Team will be hosting HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS WEEK under the theme HOMELESSNESS: BEYOND AN OPINION, BEYOND AN IMAGE, BEYOND THE STREETS from May 10-16.
The idea behind this week of activities is to create a space where issues surrounding homelessness (contributing and exacerbating factors) can be discussed openly; where the homeless can receive recreational services, a significant part of holistic care; and, where there can be frank and open discussion about how we feel as a nation about our homeless, tackling stigma and discrimination. We also want to be looking at a coordinated response to alleviate the conditions of the homeless - housing issues, social security concerns and community education and participation.
The week is based on four pillars
– Respect, Compassion, Reach and Family.
that led to their existence on the streets. The four pillars Respect, Compassion, Reach, Family were chosen because we want society to:
Show respect to the homeless, rather than abuse them;
Feel compassion, rather than disdain;
Reach out, rather than ignore; and
Embrace them as family; rather than condemn them to a life of loneliness.
We are, after all, Out of Many ONE PEOPLE
Raise public awareness about the situation of homeless persons
Spotlight the project and the services available through the project
Expose clients to experiences necessary for mental and emotional wellness
Collaborate with civic, faith based, NGO and private sector entities to deliver medical and holistic services to the homeless
Galvanize n support for social security provisions for the homeless
Correct negative perceptions associated with homelessness
Rights based approach to working with and taking care of the homeless.
A trip to the Zoo for 50 homeless persons on Tuesday, May 12
Homelessness Supplement – in the Jamaica Observer for Wednesday May 13
Friday May 15 – Health Fair at Marie Atkins Night Shelter, 65 Hanover Street
Saturday May 16 – Family Day at Webster Memorial 53 Half Way Tree Road starting at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.