Community-Wide Breakfast Forum
“A HAND UP; NOT A HAND OUT”
After two years of research on the homeless issue in East Chicago, Indiana, Grace Beyond Borders implemented phase 2 of its homelessness project which consisted of investigating and addressing homelessness, hunger and factors that contribute to homelessness. With grant funding from Foundations of East Chicago, Grace Beyond Borders expanded its efforts to bring city and county-wide attention to this critical problem.
Currently, weekly forums attract the homeless and those who are concerned about the plight of family, friends, neighbors, and strangers who are experiencing homelessness and need help. The first of its kind, the twice weekly forums educate, address, and identify solutions to a variety of contributing factors to homelessness. Specialists from Housing, Social Services, Employment/Job Opportunities, Healthcare and Addiction Recovery helped facilitate the forums.
Forum participants are provided with emergency shelter, short and long-term addiction recovery, employment, health insurance, transportation to “out of town” social services and counseling.
Forum participants play a key role in communicating and helping attendees understand the challenges of homelessness. They share their roadblocks and successes in avoiding or transitioning out of homelessness, obtaining employment, and/or recovery from substance abuse. Volunteers help facilitate the forums, serving as speakers, food servers, hostess/host, recorders and assistants.
Another vital component of the forums is to address hunger; especially for the homeless and those who are food insecure. Breakfast is provided along with clothing and personal care/hygiene packets to all who are in need.