Sleepout: ECSU students learn what it's like on the streets FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 01:01:47 -0400


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http://www.thechronicle.com/news/onstreet.htm
FWD  The Chronicle - Willimantic, CT, USA - November 19, 1998


ECSU LEARNS WHAT IT'S LIKE ON THE STREETS
By Harold C. Shayer


WILLIMANTIC -- Adam Johnson said he got up at 6:45 a.m. this morning
feeling a "steady stream of cold air" blowing against his face.

Not able to get back to sleep, Johnson proceeded to clean up the "home"
surrounding him, which consisted of cardboard slabs garnished with a crisp,
mid-November frost.

But spending the night in a cardboard box on the campus of Eastern
Connecticut State University wasn't to simulate homelessness, said Johnson,
a history major at the school.

"It was really done to make the statement that homelessness and hunger have
to be remedied," said Johnson. "Sleeping outdoors or listening to speeches
isn't really going to solve the problem. I think those who slept out feel a
little closer to the subject today."

Johnson was one of about 10 students who braved freezing temperatures last
night to participate in the Big American Sleep Out, which took place
between the Classroom Building and the new, yet unopened library building.

Johnson said approximately 60 people came to the sleep-out to listen to
speeches when the event started at 7 p.m. and about 20 students formed
their cardboard box shelters intending to participate in the actual
sleep-out.

Johnson said about half of the students abandoned their box homes in the
middle of the night and returned to their dorms.

Sponsored by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness,
Johnson said the sleep-out was also held to support the initiation of a
campus chapter of the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, or
ConnPIRG, a non-profit network which tackles environmental, consumer
protection, hunger and homelessness issues.

Carl Loges, a social worker at the local Covenant Soup Kitchen, spoke
students Wednesday and suggested they get involved in the "hard work" of
political activism to end homelessness after the sleep-out was over.

Loges also challenged students to try not to go back inside once the
sleep-out was over.

"I told them they should hide their sleeping bags under a bush and then go
and try to find their next meal," said Loges. "They did make an extremely
important political statement about homelessness, but it's hard to
empathize with those who are homeless unless you have been there."

END FORWARD
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http://www.thechronicle.com/news/onstreet.htm

FWD  The Chronicle - Willimantic, CT, USA - November 19, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>ECSU LEARNS WHAT IT'S LIKE ON THE
STREETS

By Harold C. Shayer

</paraindent>


WILLIMANTIC -- Adam Johnson said he got up at 6:45 a.m. this morning
feeling a "steady stream of cold air" blowing against his face. 


Not able to get back to sleep, Johnson proceeded to clean up the "home"
surrounding him, which consisted of cardboard slabs garnished with a
crisp, mid-November frost.


But spending the night in a cardboard box on the campus of Eastern
Connecticut State University wasn't to simulate homelessness, said
Johnson, a history major at the school.


"It was really done to make the statement that homelessness and hunger
have to be remedied," said Johnson. "Sleeping outdoors or listening to
speeches isn't really going to solve the problem. I think those who
slept out feel a little closer to the subject today."


Johnson was one of about 10 students who braved freezing temperatures
last night to participate in the Big American Sleep Out, which took
place between the Classroom Building and the new, yet unopened library
building.


Johnson said approximately 60 people came to the sleep-out to listen to
speeches when the event started at 7 p.m. and about 20 students formed
their cardboard box shelters intending to participate in the actual
sleep-out.


Johnson said about half of the students abandoned their box homes in
the middle of the night and returned to their dorms.


Sponsored by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and
Homelessness, Johnson said the sleep-out was also held to support the
initiation of a campus chapter of the Connecticut Public Interest
Research Group, or ConnPIRG, a non-profit network which tackles
environmental, consumer protection, hunger and homelessness issues.


Carl Loges, a social worker at the local Covenant Soup Kitchen, spoke
students Wednesday and suggested they get involved in the "hard work"
of political activism to end homelessness after the sleep-out was
over.


Loges also challenged students to try not to go back inside once the
sleep-out was over.


"I told them they should hide their sleeping bags under a bush and then
go and try to find their next meal," said Loges. "They did make an
extremely important political statement about homelessness, but it's
hard to empathize with those who are homeless unless you have been
there."


END FORWARD

-

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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