First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Announces Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear, joined by 2010 Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent, advocates for the homeless and other state officials, today announced November 14-20, 2010, as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Kentucky. Mrs. Beshear also presented a proclamation signed by Gov. Steve Beshear in honor of the week.
“There are many Kentucky families who need help this holiday season,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Steve and I encourage all Kentuckians to donate food or volunteer their time to a shelter or food bank not only this week but throughout the year, as each of us can make a difference.”
Trent, whose platform is Homeless Prevention: A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out, has been actively involved with the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH), the sponsor of the event. Her platform was inspired by her experience feeding the homeless from a chapel in her grandmother’s home.
“Since my crowning in July, I have been able to participate in several events aimed at assisting the homeless,” said Trent. “I am always humbled by the stories I hear as these individuals and families struggle to overcome the obstacles that have left them without a place to call home.”
Every year, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the state housing finance agency, coordinates the Point-In-Time Count of homeless individuals across the Commonwealth. The 2010 Point-In-Time Count of the Homeless identified 6,623 homeless individuals in Kentucky. The count also found that more than 9,800 individuals, outside of Lexington and Louisville, were precariously housed, meaning they live in substandard housing, with friends or family, or were expecting eviction within seven days. The Point-In-Time Count takes place every year on the last Thursday in January. The 2011 count will be on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011.
“Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a national campaign to promote efforts to end hunger and homelessness,” KICH Vice Chair Jason Dunn explained. “These issues will not be solved in a week, but if we all contribute, we can assist people in our communities who need our help.”
During the announcement, attendees also heard from actors in the play Please Don’t Call Me Homeless ... I Don’t Call You Homed. The play, written by Jeff Gross, is based on the experiences of several homeless individuals in Lexington. The play has several scheduled performances, a list of which can be found at http://www.godsnet.info/currentevents.htm.