a special message from the director of
Upper Room of Erie, a homeless shelter

National Homelessness and Hunger Week Awareness Event

This has been a very interesting couple of weeks for the Upper Room. Last week on the 19th, Gannon College put on a very interesting program to observe National Homelessness and Hunger week. The Upper Room and other members of Erie’s Home Team were invited to a reception , dinner, and presentations. The highlight was being part of a packed house for a soup dinner in observance of widespread hunger followed by presentations by representatives of the Father McKennon Center of Washington DC, a homeless facility visited in the recent past by Gannon students.

The Two Speakers, Norman Hungerford and Cortez McDaniel, brought their insights and experiences in both being and working on behalf of the homelessness. Their stories and rapport with their audience was amazing. Watching and listening to them, I was amazed at their public speaking skills and ability to convey their enthusiasm for their work to the student audience. They spoke thru the soup and bread dinner and continues to answer questions long after the tables were cleared.

The next day at our invitation they came to share the Bishop’s breakfast in the social hall below the Upper Room at St. Paul’s UCC. They came early and stayed until it was time to head for the airport and their trip to DC. Before they left, however, they came upstairs to tour the Upper Room and see the winning photographs from our recent “Photographs of Homelessness” project. They were intrigued by the project and spoke of having such an event at their shelter.

Members of Conference

Norman Hungerford and Cortez McDaniel talk with some of Erie's homless at the weekday breakfast at Sp. Paul's UCC. Percy Horton (end) shows his winning smile and peaceful demeanor.

Members of Conerence at UR

Norman Hungerford and Cortez McDaniel (yellow coat) admire the winners in the Upper Room's annual "Photographs of Homelessness" contest.

Tom Schlaudecker
November 19, 2013

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