Sunday, January 28, 2007

Students see how other half lives

SigEps in Jackson, Tennessee (Lambuth University)participated in a "Homeless for a night" event to raise money and awareness for those with nowhere to go.
Motorists driving by Northside United Methodist Church on Friday night might have seen young men holding signs that read, "Homeless for a night" and "It's really cold."

In the church's parking lot, other men chopped wooden crates with a hammer to build a fire while their friends settled in for the night in cardboard boxes.

The unusual sight was an effort by members of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a Lambuth University fraternity, to try to raise awareness and donations for the homeless of Jackson by living their life for one night.

"In a smaller town like this, people don't think that there are homeless," said Anthony Johnson, a sophomore music education major and vice president of recruitment for the fraternity.

Fraternity brothers arrived at 5 p.m. with the boxes to build shelters that would have to last them until 9 a.m. today. The community was asked to bring donations such as clothing, sleeping bags, food and water to be used by the students for the evening. Today the donations will be gathered up and given to the Regional Inter-Faith Association to benefit the area's needy.
[...]
The group decided to hold the event in January because, Williams said, "If it's warm, then it's like camping. Homeless people's life expectancy drops in winter."

The president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, John McGreger, said the students were able to use the church's parking lot because of personal connections, and "as long as there was not horseplay, it was fine."
Jackson Sun - www.jacksonsun.com - Jackson, TN