Written by Rae for SocialWorks.
Michael Airhart has been feeding people who are less fortunate all over Chicago for over 6 years. He has provided food, clothes, blankets, and more, to keep the less fortunate settled until he arrives the next day. With the help of his wife, Pamela Airhart, the two have been working to show everyone that you shouldn’t look down on the little people but look to help. After experiencing an incident where homeless were turned away from the Taste of Chicago, he decided to stand up and make an impactful event just for the people.
After a conversation with Chance the Rapper, Michael has partnered with SocialWorks, Chance’s nonprofit organization, to create the initiative, Taste For The Homeless, an event designed to bring food, entertainment, and direct supports to Chicagoans who need it the most. In a Taste of Chicago-esque platform, Taste For The Homeless was created exclusively for those experiencing extreme hardship.
This bi-annual event, done in the summer and winter, bring individuals from shelters all over Chicago, which has provided transportation, to feed, clothe, groom, and entertain them, all for free. In a space where they can receive items that are much needed to survive and show happiness and fellowship with each other, this event is catered for them. “We made sure they got everything they needed, whether that was personal hygiene products, clothes, coats, or food. Throughout each season from winter to fall, we want to be able to provide them with the items that they need. All these companies came out and put a lot of love in their food and [the homeless attendees] said they had never experienced anything like this before,” said Michael Airhart.
With the Taste for the Homeless: Summer Festival in the books, Michael Airhart and SocialWorks turn their focus on the Winter Fest. The Taste For The Homeless Winter Festival will be held at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave., on January 12th, 2020, and as Michael Airhart stated, “will be a dream come true.”
For more information on Taste For The Homeless, visit www.socialworkschi.org.