On November 5, 2021, this year's Walk for the Homeless event will be held at the Corner of 6th and Messanie. It is a free event but if you would like to register to get an event shirt they cost between $15 to $20. The route will be about a mile and a half long and while people walk they pick up trash, get to see what local businesses do to help out and have chances to bond with the homeless. The funds raised are used to purchase I.D. cards, birth certificates and transportation so that the homeless have everything they need to get a start.

The whole experience comes from months of planning; with major preparation having begun in August. The event is held with help from sponsors such as Fenders Benders and Northwest Program. Northwest program runs and operates the website for the Walk for the Homeless allowing people multiple ways to donate. As of now they have raised $1,800 for Change For Change so far. Missouri Westerns very own Student Government Association has helped provide money to place porta potties along the route. 

Dr. Pam Clary, professor of social work and majorly involved in the event, explained that last year wasn’t as personal of an event due to Covid.

 “Last year there wasn’t as much of a connection with the walkers and the homeless, Dr. Clary said. “We did a car drive instead of a walk because of Covid-19.” 

Ashley Neal is a student who has volunteered in previous walks and can second Clary’s comment about how there wasn’t as much of a connection when it was driving rather than walking.

 “Unlike being able to sit by fires together they couldn’t sit in our actual cars.”

 Ashley Neal is a part of the sub committee for the event and they would love to have more volunteers, as of now the guides for the walk they do have are marketing people from Northwestern. Neal explained that she had learned to actually sit and listen to gain more of an understanding from the homeless. Neal has had such an amazing experience with the Walk for the Homeless so far that she plans on doing it for her senior year as well.

The goal of the yearly Walk for the Homeless is to spread awareness, each place visited by the walkers will have a speaker talking about what they do to help out with the homeless or debunking commonly heard myths about why people are homeless.

Even if you don’t know the town that well, the Walk for the Homeless is a great way to get better acquainted with the area, learn what you can do to help those in need and to have a memorable experience that you may never forget. 

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