Northwest Arkansas residents and volunteers from the 7Hills Homeless Center marched Sunday to raise awareness for the problem of local homelessness.

Senior Quinn Childress planned the Walk a Mile in My Shoes march to raise awareness to the problem of homelessness in Northwest Arkansas and to show that his generation is willing to take action to combat the problem, he said.

Approximately 100 participants walked from the 7Hills Homeless Center on School Avenue to the Fayetteville Historic Square with a police escort.

7Hills is an organization in Fayetteville that helps homeless people meet their basic needs by providing food, clothing, showers and laundry services as well as helping them find jobs, according to the center's website.

Childress is working with Fayetteville resident Alvin Davis to develop a plan called Community Project X to address the stability issues that homeless people often suffer, such as unemployment and high costs of housing, Childress said.

Davis is an engineer and has been homeless in Fayetteville for three years, he said. Many people who have professional training are homeless because unfortunate circumstances can strike anyone, Davis said.

Homeless people simply need help reintegrating into the community, Davis said.

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan presented Childress with a signed proclamation that the Fayetteville City Council will continue to support programs combatting homelessness in Northwest Arkansas.

Last year the council members gave the 7Hills center $150,000 to help keep it open, Jordan said. Council members also spent $300,000 last year on projects to combat homelessness in Fayetteville.

In his 2018 budget Jordan designated $160,000 annually for 7Hills, he said.

Gentry resident Brian Harris volunteered with 7Hills to work at this event because one of his friends let him know the march was happening, he said.

Harris was compelled to help the shelter because no one should have to live on the street, especially in cold weather, he said. He thinks the march was very successful in making people aware of the problem of homelessness.

Grant Lancaster was the Digital Managing Editor of the Arkansas Traveler in the fall semester of 2019. Grant began work at the Traveler as a reporter in 2017 and went on to work as a senior staff reporter and news editor from 2018-2019.

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