On June 21st, Anawim Housing Programs hosted the first annual "Rising Toward Community" event. Occurring on the Summer Solstice - the first day of summer and the longest day of the year - the event celebrated the successes of those who have overcame homelessness and connected to their community while also advocating for the changes and policies needed in order to end homelessness and housing instability.
Anawim Housing, in partnership with the Polk County Continuum of Care, organized the event along with members of Anawim's peer mentoring group Full Circle. Full Circle consists of tenants who have experienced homelessness in the past. Their inclusion in both planning, as well as set up, support, and clean up, helped to make "Rising Toward Community" the success that it was. The event exists as part of a larger program organized by the National Health Care for the Homeless Coalition. Thank you to the community partners and representatives that attended from Primary Health Care's Homeless Outreach, the Institute for Community Alliances, HOME Inc., Joppa, as well as the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission and members of the City Council. The event had nine speakers ranging from tenants with lived experiences, to Mayor Frank Cownie, State Senator Claire Celsi, and other community and Anawim leaders. With the success of this first event, we hope to continue this for years to come!
For more information on this event and others like it, please visit the National Health Care for the Homeless Center website.
Cynthia Latcham - Director of Programs and Services
Angie Arthur - Executive Director, Polk County Continuum of Care
Mayor Frank Cownie - City of Des Moines
Courteney - Community Member
Tira Mays - Government Programs Coordinator, Broadlawns Medical Center
Bonnie - Community Member
Tonya - Community Member
Senator Claire Celsi - Iowa Senate District 21