Meal supports homeless

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The inside of the Farmville Train Station was decorated with paper hearts and red and pink balloons Feb. 13.

Many of the guests wore red to match STEPS luncheon fundraiser’s Valentine’s Day theme. The theme was appropriate for a project with a lot of love behind it: the luncheon is raising funds for STEPS’ homeless solutions programs.

The nonprofit provides three types of services for homelessness, which include programs related to homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing in the event of unexpected homelessness or displacement from one’s home, and shelter.

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STEPS served more than 150 individuals since July 2018 in the homelessness prevention program, representatives of the organization cited. Of those 150, STEPS estimates that 50 percent were children.

Amy Beatson, vice president of program services for STEPS, said STEPS received funding to support its homelessness services at the beginning of the fiscal year in July 2018. In just a few short months, Beatson said they had nearly spent all of their funding due to the volume of need in the region.

Volunteers served vegetable soup and ham biscuits provided by Fuqua Catering. Participants enjoyed heart-shaped desserts and the chance to bid on nearly 30 items for auction.

Items included baskets from The Fishin’ Pig and Mainly Clay, swag bags from Longwood University, artwork, photography packages and flowers from Carter’s Flower Shop.

Residents and representatives from the region attended the fundraiser, including representatives of Southside Family YMCA, Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity, Fuqua School, Centra Southside Community Hospital, Farmville Presbyterian Church, Johns Memorial Episcopal Church.

Total donations from the event won’t be calculated until the silent auction winners are known.

STEPS President & Chief Executive Officer Sharon Harrup said Feb. 13 the response to the fundraiser has been “fabulous.”

“We are so very excited and blessed,” Harrup said. She said she hopes the event brings recognition to STEPS homeless solutions programs.