DUBOIS, Pa., (WTAJ) — Six students from Penn State DuBois took on a social change project called “Sleepout for Homelessness” in an attempt to raise awareness of the homeless epidemic.
The students spent a night outside and experienced what homeless people feel every day. They set up in front of the campus and constructed shelters from cardboard boxes and tarps.
The students also volunteered time and supplies to the local shelter and brought in $200 in donations for various organizations.
There were a lot of lessons learned outside Friday night. We all got tired very quickly and many of us slept only a couple hours at the time because of the traffic or being fearful that someone would cause harm or take something, It’s unfathomable to imagine what that would be like day in and day out. We are all very grateful to have a warm place and home to go back to. Our night ended by going home, for many people experiencing homelessness their day would begin by trying to find food.
– Marly Doty, Lecturer in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)
Students were quick to recognize those lessons in what became a hands-on learning experience, as well as an awareness event.
“As we were sleeping outside Friday night, cars kept passing by and honking acknowledging us. I’m sure they were thinking all these people are doing a wonderful thing sleeping outside and spreading awareness about homelessness, but honking your horn and acknowledging us doesn’t fix anything.” HDFS student Daulton Helo said.