Next week, Volunteer ETSU will host several on-campus events for the nationally recognized Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, with events planned Nov. 12-19.
Throughout the week, there will be an informational display set up in Sherrod Library. Monday, Nov. 12 will feature the first of four planned events on campus. Monday night at 7 p.m., there will be a speaker event titled “Faces of the Homelessness” in Brown Hall room 261. The speaker has not yet been announced.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, Volunteer ETSU will be hosting two interactive events. The first of which, is a poverty simulation game that will take place from noon to 3 p.m. in the Marketplace Overflow on campus. Later that same night, there will be a Diversity Circle from 6-7 p.m. at Borchuck Plaza.
The next planned event will be on Monday, Nov. 19, at noon in Stanton-Gerber Hall room B003, where there will be a discussion about homelessness and children’s health.
While there are only four scheduled events at the moment, it’s important to keep an eye out for other events that pop up on the schedule.
According to a 2015 study by students at Milligan College, there are roughly 300 homeless people living in Washington County alone. On top of that, in July of 2018, Johnson City passed an ordinance outlawing camping on city property, something that has led to an increase in demand at area homeless shelters.
“I feel like [Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week] is the core of what college is, becoming more aware in your community, what’s happening on campus and in other people’s lives,” said Kyla Scott, president of Volunteer ETSU.
In the past, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week – which has gone on at ETSU for over a decade – was just one event, a hunger banquet. In the last two years, however, Volunteer ETSU has worked to expand it to multiple events over the course of a full week and while this year may not feature a Hunger Banquet, Scott noted these types of interactive events are important to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness in our region.
“[The event] is to increase awareness – that’s one of the major goals – but it’s also to get people involved in their community and to empower students to know they can make some type of change,” Scott said. “We want it to go beyond awareness, we want it to go into action.”