Denver Public Library (DPL) is putting on “Our House: The Empathy Project” on Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Inspired by the Free Hugs campaign, the event hopes to encourage empathy among the community.

They will be holding many events throughout the day “designed for participants to better understand the journey of others in our community. Empathy is one of our best tools for building stronger ties to each other — and creating healthy, thriving communities with a citizenry that understands and helps each other,”  says DPL according to its website.

On the first floor all day, visitors can make their own cardboard sign recalling a time of difficulty or offering hopeful words to be hung on a wall in the library for a week-long display.

In the conference center from 10-2 p.m. DPL’s community resource specialists is hosting a Care Fair to educate people about resources available for those experiencing poverty and homelessness. There will be information on shelters, employment, IDs, housing, senior services and benefits. Health screenings will also be offered. Local musicians will be performing during the Care Fair and coffee and tea will be provided.

In another effort to bring attention to the homelessness issue, there will be a board game from 10-2 p.m. in the Burnham Hoyt Reading Area where players experience the struggles of life on the streets. There will be four play stations, each hosted by someone who has recently moved out of homelessness.

DPL also has a “Walk with Me” and Lighthouse Writers Workshop beginning at 11:30 a.m. as part of the day. People can walk to the History Colorado Museum to see the “Searching for Home” exhibit. Af 1 p.m. there is a writing workshop for all levels and an opportunity to share your work.

Circling back to the original inspiration, there will be free hugs at Acoma Plaza before a family dinner in the Conference Center starting at 3 p.m. Street musician Shyamuu will also be playing music, using only plastic utility buckets.

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