Founded in 1994 - "Philanthropic arm of the Columbus (OH) Alumni Chapter Of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated "
Kappas Support ‘Homeless Awareness’ Week Campaign
Article and photos by P.R.West, Sr.
Columbus, OH -- The Columbus Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, in conjunction with the Faith Mission and the Columbus Kappa Foundation, kicked off the 3rd Annual Homeless Awareness Week campaign by providing a complete bar-b-que prepared meal Saturday, September 8, 2012 to over 310 men, women and children. Most of the beneficiaries of the event were current patrons of the collective Faith Mission shelters for both men and women.
This is the third consecutive year the food ministry at Faith Mission has coordinated this event. The event included a live band, local singers, mimes and other performers who showcased their talent to entertain the assembled crowd as they prayed, ate and relaxed. At one point during the event, practically the entire parking lot at 315 E. Long was filled. “Supporting those in need is part of what we do in Kappa Alpha Psi” said Gregory Dukes, Polemarch of the Columbus Alumni Chapter.
Even though Ohio’s unemployment rate (7.2%) is lower than the national average (8.2%) according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Saturday’s crowd indicated that no segment of the greater Columbus community is spared from the degenerating duo of homelessness and hunger. Food insecurity, defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited access to food according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is becoming a more noticeable problem for Ohio families. Young and old, men, women and children, highly educated and high school dropouts, differently able and people of all nationalities were represented at the event. It is safe to say no segment of the American populace has been spared from the severity of the worst economic crisis to impact the nation since the Great Depression.
Not only did the men of Kappa Alpha Psi feed the people, but several fraternity members, spearheaded by Columbus Kappa Foundation President Byron L. Potts, covered a substantial amount of the cost for the meals for the event. “I am appreciative that others, most notably Robert Smith and Lee Perry stepped up to support this endeavor. Together, we are able to positively impact our community.”
To acknowledge their contribution to the local community, The Faith Mission presented the Columbus Alumni Chapter and Columbus Kappa Foundation with a “Hero Award” for stepping up and positively setting a good example in the community. Over twenty members of the fraternity volunteered during the day serving the community from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event also drew media coverage from CBS affiliate WBNS Channel 10.
Kappa members (L to R) Nate Jordan, P.R.West, Sr. Melvin Fowlkes, John Wilson, Bruce Howell, Greg Dukes, Sr. Robert Smith, Jimmy Yates, Terrance Kizer, Gene Taylor and Byron Potts, Esq. prepare to serve the homeless during the first shift at the Homeless Awareness Bar-b-que September 8th.
Homeless men line up for plates during the September 8th event.
Bruce Howell, Robert Smith, Jimmy Yates and Lonnie Pitts spoon up side orders of baked beans, green beans, potato salad to compliment the ribs, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs provided to Columbus’ homeless community down at the Faith Mission September 8th.
A number of families attended the event as well.
(L to R) Gene Taylor, Nate Jordan, Greg Dukes, Bishop Jerry L. Pierce of Miracle Cathedral, Mel Fowlkes, Byron Potts and Terrance Kizer accept the Hero Award for the Columbus Alumni Chapter for serving the community during Faith Mission’s Homeless Awareness Week September 8th. Local network news (CBS) crews interview Bishop Jerry L. Pierce, Sr. and Columbus Alumni and CKF members about the feed the homeless initiative September 8th.