Oakton project to raise awareness for homelessness

  • Students at Oakton Community College will build -- and sleep in -- outdoor shanties Thursday, Nov. 7, in an effort to raise awareness about homelessness.

      Students at Oakton Community College will build -- and sleep in -- outdoor shanties Thursday, Nov. 7, in an effort to raise awareness about homelessness. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer, 2012

 
Submitted by Oakton Community College
Posted11/5/2019 9:53 AM

What's it like to be homeless? More than 50 Oakton Community College students will find out when they spend the night in outdoor shelters Thursday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 8, outside the main entrance of Oakton's Skokie campus, 7701 N. Lincoln Ave.

Hosted by Oakton's Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, Student Services and the Student Government Association, volunteers will call attention to homelessness by filling the college's front lawn with makeshift shanties built from discarded materials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This project will allow Oakton students to understand the struggles many people in our society face on a daily basis," says Oakton sociology lecturer Cheryl Thayer, who also is the Habitat Chapter faculty adviser.

"There's no better way to gain real perspective on homelessness than experiencing it, even if it's only for a short period of time."

On Thursday from 6-8 p.m., the community is invited to talk with the shanty builders. The shelters will be occupied from 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, until 9 a.m. Nov. 8. The club will be taking donations in collection cans outside the shanties during the event.

Donation collection cans will be assigned to each shelter to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Outside the shelters, posters will provide information about the homeless and other related social problems.

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During the sleepover, students will also organize a "soup kitchen" by preparing sandwiches and breakfast for participants. After the breakfast, students will discuss their experiences.

The public is encouraged to make contributions to Oakton Community College Habitat for Humanity with cash or checks dropped off at the Office of Student Life at the Skokie campus or the Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road, or deposited in the collection cans in front of the shelters.

For details, contact habitat@oakton.edu.

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