By Edita Bardhi
As National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness month arrives, ESU welcomes “Night Without a Home,” held on Nov. 15.
Going on in the quad of the ESU campus will be students experiencing a night without luxuries.
Sponsored by ESU’s sociology, social worker, and social justice majors, the executive board – Breanne Sisco, Jessica Peters, Hope Decker, Jenna Bretz – will guide participants through a 12-hour procedure starting from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
As students spend their night outdoors, cardboard boxes are given to each participant. The boxes are used to represent the reality of being homeless.
By contributing, students are giving back to the community and earning something in return.
“We have the option of going inside. We have our beds. We have our dorm rooms, but homeless people do not have that option,” said Jessica Peters, vice president of the executive board.
As an understanding to homelessness, food donations will be distributed rather than store-bought items.
Students will receive canned goods distributed from well-known industries such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s to make it through the night.
Students will also hear from Pocono Area Transitional Housing, Street to Feet and Cross.
All three programs will have a guest speaker attending and they will educate students on the current homelessness problem in Monroe County.
“The homeless count in Monroe County is higher than one would expect,” said Peters.
Following that is a discussion based about ways in which we can help with the difficulties.
“By doing this event, we are not only showing people the problem, but we are also showing them that there are ways to help,” said Peters.
Additionally, by attending the event, students learn methods of how to approach a homeless individual.
“How do you plan it? Do you ignore? Do you look away? Do you give them money? Do you give them food? Do you respect them or do you look down at them?” stated Peters.
After some time, a fire pit will take place and s’mores will be available.
Each student is welcomed to stay awake and get a good feel for homelessness.
“We just want students to relate to it in a sense that life does happen. Homelessness is not a choice,” shared Peters.
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