I’ve been completely remiss in not posting about the 10th annual Homelessness Marathon, airing on community radio stations across the continent beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 PM EST, ending at 9 AM the following morning.
The marathon highlights the problem of homelessness and gives people who are homeless an opportunity to participate and speak for themselves on air as live guests and by calling in to a toll free number.
This year the Marathon comes from Fresno, CA, which will be a bit warmer than previous host cities. But the fact of climate does not minimize the harsh reality of living homeless.
I helped produce the 2000 Homelessness Marathon, which we hosted at WEFT, putting together the tech on our end and running the control board. It was an amazing, exhausting night, and cold as hell. Jeremy Alderson, the director of the Marathon, impressed me with his determination and dedication as he spent twelve hours in the sub-zero Illinois night, coming in only five minutes an hour for a bathroom break.
And it was also incredible to see all the people who turned out to participated who were either homeless, had been homeless or were in and out of homelessness.
WEFT, of course, will be carrying the program in its entirety, as it has since the 2nd Marathon. A list of the dozens of other stations is on the Marathon’s website.
I hope that the growing support for the program is also indicative of growing support for homeless people. I really appreciate what Jeremy says about the program’s growth on the about page:
As the Marathon has grown, its philosophy has evolved. When I started, I thought I had to scold people and tell them why they ought to care, but now I know that Americans really do care, and that no matter how grave the failings of our society may be, homeless people aren’t on the streets because that’s where we, as a people, want them to be. So I’ve backed off a lot. I now mostly look at the Marathon as giving people the reasons for what they already know in their hearts.