[Hpn] ACTIVISTS GATHER FOR 'SLEEP OUT' EVENT

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sat, 22 Oct 2005 14:45:08 -0400


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10210404/-1/all

October 21, 2005=20
Event puts a face on homelessness=20
Activists gather for 'sleepout' event

By Andrea Remke
Enquirer staff writer

COVINGTON - About 75 people braved the brisk fall air Thursday night for =
the 18th annual Sleepout for the Homeless in Goebel Park.

The event is put on by several social service agencies such as Welcome =
House, and serves as a reminder to the problem of homelessness in the =
community.

The group gathered for soup, a memorial service for homeless who have =
died, and a march to the federal courthouse on Fifth Street to sleep.

"If society could, they would just push (homelessness) aside and ignore =
it," said Mark Pierce, who lived on the streets of Cincinnati and =
Covington for six years.

Pierce is now employed with Recovery Network in Covington, doing Web =
page design - something he learned while spending his days at the public =
library.

"I'd wander the streets going from soup kitchen to soup kitchen and at =
the library to stay warm ... just trying to stay alive," said Pierce, =
who has been off the streets for five years and sober for 12 years.

One of the biggest problems for homeless people, he said, is finding a =
job.

"You can't get a job without an ID... and you can't cash a check without =
an ID."

Larry Schuler was homeless for four years and was a drug addict for 38 =
years before getting help at Welcome House. Schuler said he doesn't want =
people to feel sorry for the homeless, but just acknowledge the problem =
and help.

"We can make these people taxpaying citizens," he said.

Rachael Winters, homeless services project coordinator at Welcome House, =
said the event allows men and women who are or were homeless to speak =
out.

"Some talk about how they have gotten off the streets or how they have =
gotten help," she said. "Others are frustrated and get angry."

One woman named Anna told the crowd she was living without electricity =
or water up until two months ago.

The 31-year-old mother of three said she never knew where to turn for =
help.

Another woman stood in front of the crowd with her two toddlers and said =
she never thought she would become homeless.

"My husband had a $150,000 job and I was a stay-home mom... until he =
decided to walk out."

Winters said the homeless people of Covington have a real need.

"We can pull our resources together and we can get this solved," she =
said. "This one night of being homeless isn't really being homeless. But =
it's a tribute to those who have to do it all the time."

E-mail aremke@enquirer.com


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<DIV>October 21, 2005 <!-- ARTICLE HEADLINE -->
<P><SPAN class=3Dheadline>Event puts a face on homelessness</SPAN> =
<BR><SPAN=20
class=3Ddeckline>Activists gather for 'sleepout' event</SPAN></P>
<P class=3Dbyline>By Andrea Remke<BR>Enquirer staff writer</P><!-- =
ARTICLE SIDEBAR --><!--ARTICLE BODY TEXT-->
<P class=3Dbody><B>COVINGTON</B> - About 75 people braved the brisk fall =
air=20
Thursday night for the 18th annual Sleepout for the Homeless in Goebel =
Park.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>The event is put on by several social service agencies =
such as=20
Welcome House, and serves as a reminder to the problem of homelessness =
in the=20
community.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>The group gathered for soup, a memorial service for =
homeless who=20
have died, and a march to the federal courthouse on Fifth Street to =
sleep.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"If society could, they would just push (homelessness) =
aside and=20
ignore it," said Mark Pierce, who lived on the streets of Cincinnati and =

Covington for six years.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>Pierce is now employed with Recovery Network in =
Covington, doing=20
Web page design - something he learned while spending his days at the =
public=20
library.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"I'd wander the streets going from soup kitchen to soup =
kitchen=20
and at the library to stay warm ... just trying to stay alive," said =
Pierce, who=20
has been off the streets for five years and sober for 12 years.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>One of the biggest problems for homeless people, he =
said, is=20
finding a job.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"You can't get a job without an ID... and you can't cash =
a check=20
without an ID."</P>
<P class=3Dbody>Larry Schuler was homeless for four years and was a drug =
addict=20
for 38 years before getting help at Welcome House. Schuler said he =
doesn't want=20
people to feel sorry for the homeless, but just acknowledge the problem =
and=20
help.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"We can make these people taxpaying citizens," he =
said.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>Rachael Winters, homeless services project coordinator =
at Welcome=20
House, said the event allows men and women who are or were homeless to =
speak=20
out.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"Some talk about how they have gotten off the streets or =
how they=20
have gotten help," she said. "Others are frustrated and get angry."</P>
<P class=3Dbody>One woman named Anna told the crowd she was living =
without=20
electricity or water up until two months ago.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>The 31-year-old mother of three said she never knew =
where to turn=20
for help.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>Another woman stood in front of the crowd with her two =
toddlers=20
and said she never thought she would become homeless.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"My husband had a $150,000 job and I was a stay-home =
mom... until=20
he decided to walk out."</P>
<P class=3Dbody>Winters said the homeless people of Covington have a =
real=20
need.</P>
<P class=3Dbody>"We can pull our resources together and we can get this =
solved,"=20
she said. "This one night of being homeless isn't really being homeless. =
But=20
it's a tribute to those who have to do it all the time."</P>
<P class=3Dbody><I>E-mail <A href=3D"mailto:aremke@enquirer.com"=20
s_oid=3D"mailto:aremke@enquirer.com"=20
s_oidt=3D"0">aremke@enquirer.com</A></I></P></DIV>
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