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Library Panel Focuses on Homelessness in the Community

By Alexander Lewis
On April 13, 2017

The Library will be hosting a panel focusing on homelessness in New Jersey on Thursday, April 13 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Library on the Edison campus. Library Director Marilyn Ochoa said, “This panel offers insights into homeless and poverty in and around Middlesex County.

“Hank Kalet, an MCC adjunct professor and journalist, will read from his book, “As an Alien in a Land of Promise,” on a now-closed tent encampment for the homeless in Lakewood,” said Ochoa, “MCC student Alexander Lewis will share his story as a 20-year old who found himself homeless during a cold New Jersey winter.”


“I want to show people that homelessness affects all people equally, no matter one’s age, skin color, or upbringing,” said Lewis, “I want people to understand that the homeless are people just like you and me, that anyone can wind up on the street, and that it is not the end. You can pick yourself up, but not without support and resources.”

The event will also be attended by Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Mark McCormick. Reference Librarian Matt Bridgeman will facilitate the session. Several representatives of local charitable organization will also be present. “Coming Home Inc., Elijah’s Promise, and Catholic Charities of Metuchen, will discuss how they support individuals and families experiencing homelessness and what volunteer opportunities are available to help the local community,” said Ochoa.

Professor Kalet will help facilitate an open Question and Answer session after the main panel presentation. Individuals will be able to purchase Hank Kalet’s “As an Alien in a Land of Promise” at the event. “Book sales proceeds will go to the Professor Spano and Professor Urbanski student scholarships,” said Ochoa.

Donations will be collected to benefit the local Middlesex County Community. Non-perishable food as well as paper plates, napkins, and plastic cookware are accepted. Donations may be dropped off at the library leading up to the event as well. Donations for the charitable organizations involved will also be accepted.

Those interested in more information should go to http://middlesexcc.libguides.com/Homelessness.The guide contains a snapshot of homelessness in Middlesex County, a list of further readings, news articles, and resources for those struggling with homelessness. There is also a guide for those interested in volunteering.

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