Students Struggle to Inform their Peers about Poverty
Students leading Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) at Washington University in St. Louis aim to promote awareness of homelessness in the community.
Some students expressed concern that the University community has neglected the issue of local homelessness and hunger in the past.
“I actually haven’t heard much about homelessness in St. Louis,” sophomore Kelsey Binder said. “I feel like the information isn’t all that easy to come by. Here in the Wash. U. bubble it feels pretty easy to ignore what is going on around us.”
Eric Duffy, co-president of HAW and Alliance of Students Against Poverty, said there are three main purposes of HAW: to show the homelessness situation regionally and nationally to students; to make students aware of living conditions under homelessness; and to communicate to students about current and future initiatives to address the problem.
This week HAW has organized daily events to promote its cause. One event, “Walking Home,” has students walking along a route that is commonly taken by those who are homeless in St. Louis. Homeless people often have to go to one place to get their first meal, another place to shower, another place for another meal, and so on.
“We’re not asking anyone to become a social worker, but what they can do in the context of their interest [and] their career path,” Duffy said. “Everyone can affect the issue of hunger and homelessness in their own way.”
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