In recognition of World Habitat Day 2011, Habitat for Humanity of Faulkner County along with the Hendrix Campus Chapter of Habitat is planning to spend the night in Simon Park as a statement for the need for decent housing in Conway/Faulkner County. Participants will gather at 4 p.m. Oct. 3 and leave the park at 7 a.m. Oct. 5.

The World Habitat Day’s 2011 Theme, Housing Cities After a Disaster, is meant to draw from our experiences in Haiti, the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Indian Ocean tsunami and more personally, the recent disasters in Faulkner County and encourage policymakers to recognize the importance of focusing on shelter in disaster response efforts.

Anthony Stanley, president of Faulkner County’s Habitat for Humanity, said, "We recently had the unfortunate circumstance of experiencing the devastation that natural disasters can cause. Our local residents have always gone out to help when other communities were affected, this Spring the call for action was right here at home.  Habitat simply wants to remind the community that regardless of the circumstance — adequate shelter is a never ending need, whether from life’s conditions or disaster."

Stanley went on to say, "This year’s World theme, ‘Housing cities after a disaster,’ showcases a serious and growing problem around the world. From Haiti and Japan, New Orleans and Memphis to Arkansas and Faulkner County, we all face different challenges when responding to disasters. These dangers and challenges require effective and creative policies from governments and humanitarian groups around the world." 

Each year on World Habitat Day, Habitat’s executive director spends the night out doors. Patricia Hoskins, said, "I really want to be clear; this is not an assimilation of homelessness. I can’t pretend to be homeless for a night when I have a home and a bed to go to. This is my personal statement to this community that I believe in the mission of Habitat. Last year, I had a few Hendrix and University of Central Arkansas students brave the cold with me. That particular night, the temperature dropped and was the coldest night of the year at that point. But we stuck it out, we even had a couple of homeless people come and grab a cup of coffee and some food. I’d love to see Simon Park full of people who will take a stand against homelessness and inadequate housing in Faulkner County."

Habitat for Humanity of Faulkner County is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating homelessness and poverty housing.