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Soup with Substance Event Shines Light on Help for People Experiencing Homelessness

Published: 11/17/2022

Conversation and discussion led by Kurt Crays, director of EUMA.

Conversation and discussion led by Kurt Crays, director of EUMA.

A simple soup supper was paired with conversation and discussion led by Kurt Crays, director of EUMA (Erie United Methodist Alliance), with Gannon students at The Knight Club, part of the university’s observance of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. 

EUMA’s mission lies in “helping those who are homeless, one heart at a time.” 

Crays shared how EUMA serves the local population and people experiencing homelessness; providing emergency, transitional and seasonal shelters; permanent housing programming; medical outreach, and other poverty-assistance services. 

Students heard personal stories of perseverance and learned about The Refuge, Erie’s family homeless shelter. Interactive opportunities to learn about upcoming services opportunities included Our West Bayfront’s Thanksgiving Dinner, welcoming new refugees and New Americans through the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants, supporting Gannon students experiencing hunger through Store Knighted, and advocating for increased federal nutrition support funding. 

A few other key takeaways: 

  • Moving people into permanent housing is as effective and less expensive than keeping them in a temporary shelter. 
  • 14% of Erie County identifies as BIPOC; 50% of people experiencing homelessness in Erie County identify as BIPOC. 
  • In 2017, the hourly income needed to buy a home was $21+ an hour.
  • “Make homelessness rare, brief, and one time.”

Follow Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns and Global Exploration to learn more about Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and to connect with resources as we continue in conversation and service this week and beyond. 

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.