The Issue: Increasing Number of Homeless Students
Between the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 school year, the number of homeless students increased by 64% in the nine-county region served by the Allegheny County Intermediate Unit's Homeless Children's Initiative, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. These children lived in shelters or with family friends while trying to maintain their grades and a normal lifestyle.
The Campaign: Providing Overnight Shelter for Families
If 70 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then East End Cooperative Ministry can fund 20 nights of shelter for families and individuals experiencing homelessness through its housing program FAITH (Families Achieving Independence Through Housing), which reunites families who are homeless in 27 residences in the city. In addition to receiving overnight shelter, program participants have access to case management and support services, and children’s advocates work with schools to help youth maintain their grades during periods of unstable housing. Individuals also may receive rent, utilities, furniture, and cleaning supplies to help them transition to a stable home. Each additional $35 raised will provide another night of shelter for families or individuals who are homeless.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.
East End Cooperative Ministry
East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) was founded in 1970 by a team of local seminary students to distribute breakfast to children who were going to school without meals. Today, the organization combines the goodwill of more than 40 congregations, local businesses, and volunteers to run a trio of programs dedicated to alleviating hunger, providing housing, and serving youth in the community. Its Meals on Wheels program, emergency food pantry, and soup kitchen distribute warm lunches and fresh groceries to an average of 400 people every day. Individuals experiencing homelessness can rest in the onsite shelter, which houses more than 40 men every night and provides access to social services. EECM further seeks to end the cycle of poverty with a series of in-school and afterschool programs that engage youth on vital issues including drug-use prevention and sustainability.