Hunger and homelessness are ongoing issues in the greater Bismarck area (as well as the state), but they tend to be “hidden” issues, not readily apparent to the general public.
Which is why, during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (November 13-21), the Missouri Valley Coalition for Homeless People (MVCHP) is working to build awareness in the region through a series of very public events.
The homelessness issue isn’t about a handful of people looking for places to stay. According to data shared by the Missouri Valley coalition, at least 607 people accessed either emergency or transitional housing in the Bismarck-Mandan area and the surrounding area during 2020.
And that number, according to the coalition, doesn’t include many more uncounted people, including youth, were living each day in overcrowded situations with family or friends, struggling to find permanent housing.
One of the public awareness events the coalition is planning is set for Saturday, November 20, at the State Capitol.
Called, “No Longer Hidden: Take a ‘Stand’ Against Youth Homelessness,” 415 volunteer adults and young people will stand in unison at 4:15 p.m., for 4 minutes and 15 seconds, representing the 415 homeless youths identified in Bismarck in 2020.
Volunteers are needed to participate in this first of its kind event.
You are encouraged to sign up through a brief online registration form and then show up at the south lawn of the Capitol before 4:00 p.m., Saturday, to participate.
The coalition encourages you to “bring your family and then some” to take part in the 4 minute 15 second act of solidarity to elevate public awareness of the homelessness issue in the community and region.
You can find the online registration form here.