Students to Learn About Hidden Homelessness During "Night in a Car"

LogoMarch 4, 2015 

On March 27, the Night in a Car homelessness simulation will shine a light on the hidden homelessness in Bloomington-Normal. The event, which will begin at 5 p.m. on March 27 and continue through 8 a.m. on March 28, is a collaboration between Illinois Wesleyan University, Illinois State University and Home Sweet Home Ministries (HSHM).

Each team of three or four students will raise $35, which is the cost of one night of shelter at HSHM. During the simulation, participating students will experience the difficulties that many homeless people in the community face: living out of their cars. The event will take place in the Park Street parking lot, east of The Ames Library. 

Serving as a link between IWU and HSHM, a student task force will organize the IWU event. Task force members include: Emmanuel Ahonkhai ’17 on behalf of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Amanda King ’15 and Jessa White ’15 for Fraternity and Sorority Programming Board, Ashley Spain ’16 for The Council of Inclusion & Awareness and Jenna Tranel ’15 on behalf of Students Organizing Campus Awareness.

“We are so excited that this opportunity is coming to IWU's campus,” said the student task force. “We will hopefully raise awareness about various aspects of homelessness that are common in the community, specifically individuals living in their cars. This is a perfect fund-raising event for our proactive student body.”

“This experience is intended to educate students about a very real issue. We hope all participants realize that there is a hidden aspect of homelessness that we don’t always see, which affects many people in our community,” HSHM Development and Community Relations Manager Matthew Drat ’84 said.

And, as the student task force pointed out, awareness is a main priority for Night in a Car. “We are in a position to make a difference, and we hope as many students as possible will get involved!”

By Tia Patsavas ‘16