Tuesday, November 18, 2008

March to the Phoenix City Hall to fight hunger

Yesterday, a public demonstration to draw attention to hunger and homelessness took place in Phoenix, Arizona. The demonstration only had 100 marchers, but it did collect 350 pounds of food for area food banks.

Eugene Scott from the Arizona Republic says the march caught the attention of at least on city councilman.

Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton, chairman of a regional committee on homelessness, encouraged the marchers to remind the community that homelessness is everybody's issue regardless of socioeconomic status.

"When we look at the face of homelessness, we're not looking at 'those people,' " he said. "We're looking in the mirror . . . but for the grace of God go any of us."

Jacki Taylor, executive director of the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, expressed disappointment that while much has changed, many things have remained the same.

"It was the mid-1980s that the whole issue of homelessness came to the national forefront," she said. "That was over 25 years ago, and we're still struggling with the same issues."

Taylor said the percentage of homeless Arizonans has increased significantly over the past year.

"Have we made strides? Yes," she said. "We're beginning to focus more on affordable housing, but we're not there."

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