The University of Maine at Presque will serve as the host site of the 4th Annual Safe Homes Aroostook “Move to End Homelessness” 5K fundraiser on Sunday, May 1, 2016, at 1 p.m. The 5K fun run/walk, a timed event that will be held rain or shine, will start and end at Gentile Hall and wind along the city’s sidewalks and bike path. Pre-registration check-in and same-day registration will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Safe Homes Aroostook is an annual event that raises community awareness and funds to support two organizations that work to ensure safe homes for everyone in The County—Hope and Justice Project and Homeless Services of Aroostook. Proceeds from registration and donations/sponsorships will be divided evenly and go directly to the two organizations. Representatives from Hope and Justice Project, Homeless Services of Aroostook, and members of the UMPI community—including several Business and Social Work students—are working together to put on the event.
Organizers are hoping to grow the Safe Homes Aroostook event, which saw over 150 participants and raised more than $6,000 last year. The participants who pre-registered online will receive event T-shirts reserved in their size, and additional T-shirts will be made available to registrants on a first come, first served basis the day of the event. Awards will be available for top individual and team fundraisers as well as fastest male and female runners, and there will be post event raffle prizes. In addition, there will be activities in the Gentile Hall gym for children to enjoy, facilitated by UMPI Physical Education students. This year’s event will again feature DJ Adam Ouellette of Madawaska for musical entertainment at Gentile Hall.
Hope and Justice Project was founded in 1979 and provides services throughout The County from Houlton to the St. John Valley. Its mission is to educate the community on domestic violence, give help to victims in achieving safety, including shelter, and to reduce social attitudes that tolerate and foster abuse and violence.
“This event gets better and better every year,” Casey Faulkingham, Prevention & Training Coordinator at Hope & Justice Project, said. “Unfortunately, abuse, violence, and homelessness affect so many of our Aroostook County people. But when our community comes out in full force for this event each year, it shows those affected by these issues that we support them and will do whatever we can to make their reality be different.”
Homeless Services of Aroostook was founded in 1984 and provides shelter, food, case management services, and advocacy to rapidly re-house individuals and families with children experiencing homelessness. The shelter, located in Presque Isle, is the only emergency homeless shelter for the general public in Aroostook County.
“It’s hard to believe that this is our 4th annual event already,” Stephen Eyler, Executive Director of Homeless Services of Aroostook said. “Seems like yesterday we were at Riverside Park with an idea and a handful of volunteers and participants for the first event. Every year we have such a great time raising awareness and this year we’re hoping to hit and exceed the 200 participants mark. We’re very grateful for UMPI hosting the event again this year, for our business sponsors who help us make the event happen, but especially our friends and neighbors who come out to enjoy the afternoon with us. As best we can, we’ve reserved good weather for that day and we’re looking forward to a great time of friendly competition and a little sweat as we get moving into Spring.”
This year’s event is sponsored by Adam’s Mobile DJ Service & Sound, Northern Business Products, Thompson-Hamel LLC, TAMC, and UMPI.
Cost to participate is $20 per person; children under 12 are free. Checks can be made payable to “Safe Homes Aroostook,” P.O. Box 1753, Presque Isle, ME 04769. For more information about the event, visit www.safehomesaroostook.org. To register, visit www.safehomesaroostook.org/registration. To volunteer or for other inquiries, please call Casey Faulkingham at 207.764.2977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.