Students raise awareness about homelessness during sleep out

The sleep out was held Nov. 13.
Misericordia University Campus Ministry recently held a homelessness awareness sleep out in an effort to show solidarity with those who go without food and shelter on a daily basis. More than a dozen students braved 40-degree temperatures to sleep in temporary shelters made of boxes and blankets in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater in the center of campus. The event was designed to give students a firsthand account of what homeless people experience every day.

The event was among a number of programs held on campus in recognition of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November, which is held one week before Thanksgiving each year by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. The week-long campaign is dedicated to bringing schools, communities and cities together in a nationwide effort to raise awareness to social services needs around the world.

Throughout the week, Campus Ministry hosted a panel discussion on homelessness in Luzerne County, held a simulated hunger banquet, offered an ecumenical service to the community, and collected items for the campus’ “Sponsor a Family” project that provides holiday food baskets for needy local families. Each year at Misericordia, different clubs, groups, and families provide a complete Thanksgiving meal — including a variety of items from the turkey to the tablecloth — to families in need from the local area. Last year, 86 baskets were organized and delivered the week before Thanksgiving.


Misericordia University student Lelia Comerford, a psychology major from Scranton, Pa., right, and Brendan Kaczmarek, Catassaqua, Pa., left, brave 40-degree temperatures to show solidarity for those who are homeless during a Campus Ministry sleep out held recently on campus.