This week was National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the news was filled with fantastic events across the country. In scanning the headlines I discovered a reoccurring theme: college students have been some of the main movers and shakers. As a (somewhat) recent grad myself, it is great to see students making a difference in their communities.
“Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in a world where you think your tests and papers are the biggest problems going on,” says a senior at the University of Colorado who was helping organize a “Hunger Banquet.” How true.
Students at Coastal Carolina University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas all made headlines with “sleep out” events coupled with food or volunteer drives. Indian University students raised funds and awareness in a manner befitting a college town like Bloomington: with an indie-rock concert.
I hope during these events the students paused to consider if any of their classmates had previously or were currently experiencing homelessness. As education costs continue to rise we hear increasingly about financially-strapped college student struggling to meet the most basic needs – including food and housing.
A number of these events across the country did a great job of focusing on the most vital question: how do we end homelessness? In Rock Hill, SC the hot topic was the need for housing for people living with HIV. “I’ve heard it many times,” says Anita Case, ED of Catawba Care Coalition, “housing is health care.” Students at Mary Baldwin College also aimed not only to raise awareness, but uncover solutions as well.
Did you miss out on these events? Don’t worry, there is still plenty you can do to help!