Hike For the Homeless Saturday in Bangor
Want to show your support for the people who spend their lives helping the homeless? Saturday is your chance to do that and to tell homelessness to "Take a Hike!" The annual Hike for the Homeless is happening Saturday and organizers would love to have you join them!
According to the event's website, more than 2,000 people visited the Greater Bangor Area Homeless Shelter last year in need of a safe, clean place to stay, a warm meal, and other supportive services. And these are not just adults. Kids are homeless too. It's a growing problem as jobs become harder and harder to find.
Then there are the folks who aren't capable of holding a job. The event website gives this statistic: Currently, 71% of the people who stay at the shelter have a major mental illness, chronic addictions, and/or medical issues. Their needs are great.
I spoke with Executive Director Dennis Marble on Thursday about the problem of homelessness. He said, "It's going to be all of us just getting engaged in some form or another that's going to improve this. So if high school students talk to each other about it, if they go home and someone says, 'You know, we did this thing and we had to raise money for the shelter. Well, why is it that people have to live in a shelter or they're outside?' Those conversations get to the point where eventually they're taken up with city and state officials. Gradually, I think it's that conversation and only that conversation that's going to improve this system."
So, help to start the conversation. Tell your family and friends that you're going to walk tomorrow and ask them to go with you! Donations are certainly always welcomed, but Dennis says that everyone is encouraged to walk. It's about money, sure. But the awareness is what's really important!
The Hike for the Homeless has four starting points, in four different towns. In Hermon, the walk starts at the Sports Arena on Outer Hammond Street at 9:30am. In Brewer, it starts at EMHS's Cianchette building on Dirigo Drive at 10:30am. In Hampden, walkers will begin at Hampden Academy at 9:30. And in Bangor, the walk kicks off from Bangor High School at 10:30am.
All the different branches of the walk will converge on the Bangor Waterfront by the Sea Dog for prizes and refreshments! Dennis says if you're physically not able to take part in the walk, you're still encouraged to join in the fun on the waterfront. Just remember...if you walk, you need to coordinate your own ride back to the starting point!
Registration online is closed, but you can sign up tomorrow at one of the starting points. So lace up your sneakers and take a Hike for the Homeless, Saturday, April 13th!