Homeless Coalition speaks of meal donations and new plans

The Student Homeless Coalition will continue to accept Commons meals this semester to donate to the homeless.

Every Thursday, students can donate up to four unwanted meals from their meal plan before students receive new meals for the upcoming week. After receiving the meals, members of the coalition serve food to the homeless the Saturday of that week as well as on Wednesday. The table for this can be found in the Commons.

“[We] help them [the homeless] identify themselves more than just a homeless person,” said President Mary Brummet, who is also a member of ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Spirit Team, College Democrats, Bonner, MSC (Multicultural Student Council), and the director of SGA’s Action Team.

With an itinerary chock full of activities, the coalition will do just that. One program that can accomplish this is L.E.T.S. (Life Empowerment Towards Success). Providing interview skills, information on how to get a G.E.D. and how to dress among other tips, L.E.T.S. can essentially be viewed as Career Services towards the homeless. Brummet spoke about plans to add in Strength Finders, a quiz that can help discover what one’s tops strengths are. These strengths can be useful in determining one’s ideal career.

In addition to aiding careers, the Homeless Coalition also helps the homeless express themselves. The Agape House holds an art exhibit every semester where the homeless submit their artistic work. From here, the art is taken down and sold on campus. The proceeds from this go to the artist.

Unfortunately, the Agape House is shutting down. Because of this, the Coalition will be attempting to get an art exhibit as “big as possible” in order to raise money through it for a new homeless shelter due to the shutting down of the Putnam, an inexpensive apartment complex for families “that are now homeless” . As Brummet stated, the shutting down of Putnam “puts people on the street” and causes the homeless to “lose resources”. Natacha Palay, vice president of the club, had some things to say. “I feel like people are overworked” said Palay. “People are tired of it and are really sad…people are homeless and you promised you’d be there.”

Regarding the goal of opening a new homeless shelter, Palay mentioned taking small measures “instead of running into it” and instead spoke of monthly, semester, annual and overall goals (these pertain to the club’s entire existence when current members graduate). Palay is also responsible for creating the calendar which is handed out every meeting. This calendar has weekly events as well as the location and time of such events. Positions of exec board as well as the objectives of the meeting are shown.

Palay has benefitted from the collation herself. “[The Homeless Coalition] has taught me how to appreciate life itself,” she said. “You can only better yourself and learn to appreciate the people around you and what you have and what more you want in life.”

Palay said that the coalition is open to the idea of working with any club and mentioned collaborating with Hatter Harvest and Circle K.

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