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On November 15, 2010, the Missouri Valley Coalition for Homeless People, Inc. (MVCHP) will kick off Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week with a Poverty Simulation event. The Poverty Simulation event will take place from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Century Baptist Church, 205 Colt Avenue, (north on Washington Street), Bismarck. The event provides an opportunity for community members to experience first-hand what someone experiencing homelessness may endure while seeking and obtaining the services they need to get back on their feet. For those interested in participating in the Poverty Simulation or seeking information about Hunger and Homelessness in our community please call Miranda at 701-222-2108.
Freezin’ for A Reason, another major event for the week will be held on Friday, November 19, 2010, from 4:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Freezin’ for A Reason is organized by the Student Social Work Organization at Minot State University. The event will be held at the corner of Washington Street and Divide Avenue, in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Students will serve soup to volunteer participants. Non-perishable food items, blankets, diapers, household cleaning supplies and monetary donations will be collected at the event. Items collected will go directly to those experiencing homelessness in our community.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a national endeavor to promote education, action, and awareness about hunger and homelessness in our community. On any given night, there are 378 homeless people in the Bismarck-Mandan Missouri Valley area. There are an estimated 1,126 homeless people in the state of North Dakota; of the 1,126, 44% are families containing 300 children with an average age of 6. Homelessness increased by 14% in North Dakota over 2009 estimates.