News & Events

UMPI hosts 3rd Annual Safe Homes run/walk

The University of Maine at Presque will host the 3rd Annual Safe Homes Aroostook “Move to End Homelessness” fundraiser on Sunday, May 3, 2015, from 12-3 p.m. The 5K fun run/walk, which will be held rain or shine, will start at 1 p.m. and end at Gentile Hall and wind along the city’s sidewalks and bike path.

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.

Organizers are hoping to grow the Safe Homes Aroostook event, which saw over 150 participants and raised more than $6,000 last year. The first 100 registered participants at this year’s event will receive an event T-shirt. Prizes will be available for top individual and team fundraisers and teams with the most participants, and there will be no shortage of door prizes. In addition, there will be activities in the Gentile Hall gym for children to enjoy. This year’s event will feature a few new components: the route is mapped out to be exactly 5K and will be timed for those who would like to know their times, there will be a DJ to provide musical entertainment for any down-time at Gentile Hall, and at the half-way mark of the 5K, participants can pay $5 for a piece of cake and a ride to the finish line!

This year’s Safe Homes run/walk is being organized by UMPI’s Project and Cost Management class, taught by Bryan Thompson, Assistant Professor of Business at the University.

“Students have gained a new perspective on issues affecting citizens right here in the County, and the opportunity to make a difference by participating in the project planning of the event,” Thompson said.

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.

“Abuse and violence affect so many people in Aroostook. The Safe Homes Aroostook run/walk is a great opportunity for everyone to show support for survivors, draw attention to these issues, and raise some critically needed dollars to ensure that all who need refuge will have it,” Francine Garland Stark, Executive Director of Hope and Justice Project, said.

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.

“We’re very excited to partner again with Hope & Justice Project and UMPI for our 3rd year of Safe Homes Aroostook,” Steve Eyler, Executive Director of Homeless Services of Aroostook, said. “The need for both of our organizations continues to grow while our funding from federal and state sources continues to decline every year. This event is extremely important to us, not only to help offset funding cuts, but more importantly to help us raise awareness of the needs of our friends and neighbors of the County. We’re looking forward to a fun-filled event with all the champions in the fight against homelessness.”

Cost to participate is $15 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 http://safehomesaroostook.org/. To register, visithttp://safehomesaroostook.org/registration. For other inquiries, please call Bryan Thompson at 207.768.9459 or emailbryan.thompson@maine.edu.