A total of 407 students in Owensboro Independent and Daviess County Public Schools were homeless during the 2017-2018 school year. In the Owensboro City School District, more than 5 percent of students are homeless; in the Daviess County School District, 1 percent are homeless, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.
For adults, the statistics vary, but according to Harry Pedigo, Executive Director of St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter, 457 men have sought refuge in his facility in 2018. Only 41.7 percent of the 457 went into permanent housing. Of the 398 men who left the shelter in 2018, 57 percent returned to a shelter.
To combat these troubling facts, the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association (GORA) is hosting an Aid the Homeless Throwback Prom with all donations going to shelters in Owensboro: Adrienne’s House, Boulware Mission, CrossRoads, The Daniel Pitino Shelter, OASIS women’s shelter, St. Benedict’s, St. Joseph’s Peace Mission, the Yewell Home for Boys and the Empowerment Academy.
Aid the Homeless, Inc., a 501C-3 non-profit organization established by GORA in 2012, was established “to raise public awareness and to support the homeless in the Owensboro area,” according to their website.
The throwback prom is a fun and unique opportunity for the attendees to dress up, dance, and have fun, all while donating to local homeless shelters. Appetizers, live music, and an old school prom photo booth will be available for all who attend.
The theme of this year’s Throwback Prom is “New York Nights” and attendees are encouraged to wear a vintage dress, old prom dress, or something new.To add to the festivities, the event also features a prom court, composed of several local personalities.
Travis Holtrey of Foreman Watson Holtrey, LLP; Brian Jackson of Cromwell Radio Group; Harry Pedigo of St. Benedict’s; Tara Estes of Hilliard Lyons, and Johnna Humphrey of Century 21 Partners are on the prom court and each is raising money in their name to donate to the benefit. To vote for a contestant, visit http://aidthehomeless.org/vote/ when you donate to the cause.
Gail Niehaus, realtor and president of Aid the Homeless, said that, “As a realtor, I get to help people find their new homes. For the homeless, they need help – funds, direction, drug counseling, and if I can give back to my community in my small way by helping those people find a better way, then I’m all about it!”
Last year’s event raised approximately $50,000. Niehaus hopes that this year’s event will raise even more than last year. She said that the funds raised each year are not earmarked for any specific cost but can help the shelter in any need, ranging from drug counseling, the purchase of a bus ticket, or helping meet physical needs.
“We want people to get to the point that they can purchase a home,” said Tamarra Miller, board member of Aid the Homeless.
Before the event, GORA is encouraging attendees to eat dinner at one of six downtown restaurants (Fetta Specialty Pizza, Bar Louie, The Famous Bistro, Lure Seafood and Grille, Burger Theory Owensboro, or City Walk of Owensboro) that have generously agreed to donate 10% of all Saturday evening proceeds.
Today, Cromwell Radio Group, located at 1115 Tamarack Road, is hosting a donation drive thru to benefit Aid the Homeless. Stop by for hamburgers, chips, drinks, and cookies all in the name of helping the homeless in Owensboro.
The benefit is Sept. 22 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at O.Z. Tyler Distillery. There is an After Party at Bar Louie from 11 p.m. until close. Tickets are still available at www.aidthehomeless.org or by calling 270-685-4977.