16 AlmsHouseThere’s a calendar day to celebrate just about everyone and everything it seems — even the homeless. But Kenjuana McCray and the people from the Community Awareness Alliance plan to do more with World Homeless Day than recognize the homeless. Their goal is to provide them with tangible help.

The ALMS HOUSE in Hope Mills will host a feeding and food drive on Friday, Oct. 11, which is actually the day after the official observance of World Homeless Day on Oct. 10.

The Community Awareness Alliance is a Cumberland County organization that helps promote concern for the homeless locally, according to McCray, who was asked to help bring an event for the homeless to Hope Mills.

“This is the first time World Homeless Day has ever been recognized countywide in Cumberland County,’’ McCray said. “It is something done all over the United States.’’

She chose Oct. 11, the day after World Homeless Day, for the observance in Hope Mills because it worked better for the schedules of those she wanted to involve in the event.

“It was supposed to be something where it’s not just a Fayetteville thing,’’ she said. “They wanted all the municipalities represented, to do something to bring awareness to the homeless.’’

McCray said she also involved Grilley Mitchell of the Hope Mills Festival Committee in the planning for the World Homeless Day observance.

The Hope Mills observance of World Homeless Day will take place at the ALMS HOUSE on Ellison Street. The event has been in the planning since last November, McCray said. The ALMS HOUSE was chosen as the site because it is already involved in helping to feed the homeless in the Hope Mills community.

McCray said representatives of the culinary department from Fayetteville Technical Community College, where she works, will be on hand to provide a free meal of hot soup and bread for any homeless and low income families who would like to eat.

The free meal is also available to anyone who comes to the event to donate nonperishable food items or toiletries to give to those in need.

The food items and toiletries will be shared between the ALMS HOUSE and the FTCC Food Pantry.

As far as toiletries are concerned items like soap, toothpaste and deodorant are always welcome. “Those are sometimes forgotten items,’’ McCray said. “They are things low income and homeless people could really use and need.’’
The time for the free soup is listed from noon until 1 p.m. but McCray said they will most likely continue to serve those who attend until the supply runs out.

In addition to the food and donations, there will be information available to those attending regarding services for the homeless and low income families.

Lindsey Wofford will represent an organization called Seth’s Wish, which supports low-income and homeless people in the county. “They do clothing drives, food drives and all kinds of things,’’ McCray said of Seth’s Wish.

McCray said Wofford would share information about the various services provided by Seth’s Wish.

Also present will be Christine Sheets of the Hope Mills office of the State Employees Credit Union.

Sheets will have an informational table set up to share services that the SECU offers for low income families like low-cost life insurance and nominally-priced income tax preparation.

“I know a homeless person is not necessarily looking for that, but a low-income family might use some of the advantages the SECU provides,’’ McCray said. “It’s not only feeding the homeless and people that are low-income. It’s showing them other resources that are in the community and that can assist them.’’

The Students for Social Justice at FTCC will be on hand to help with the collection of the items people bring to donate.

For any questions about the event, contact McCray at kenjuanamccray09@gmail.com or contact her during office hours at FTCC, 910-494-1352.

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