According to the 2009 National Coalition for the Homeless, 3.5 million Americans will experience homelessness at some point in the year.
Approximately 39 percent of those people will be children.
To help make a difference in this statistic, every year Campus Ministry holds Hunger and Homelessness week.
They participate in some major activities to not only raise awareness about hunger and homelessness in the U.S., but to make a difference in the lives of those that are struggling with these issues.
They will be hosting a food drive for the entire week. The drive has been an annual event for Campus Ministry for about 10 years. Students can donate nonperishable food, or sign up to help collect food door-to-door.
All food donations will be sent to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Second Harvest Food Bank collects and distributes food to many local organizations, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
If you have been on campus in the past, you may recognize the Cardboard Village in front of Zurn.
The Cardboard Village was first created during fall 2008, as a way to raise money and awareness for the poor living conditions that the homeless face every day.
Campus Ministry does not just limit its work with the homeless to this week.
Members spend all year in service at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen and in immersion experiences learning about hunger, homelessness and ways to solve hunger and homelessness.
The sociology department also does part to spread awareness of homeless and low income living conditions by staging “poverty simulations” for students.
Students can also get involved in battling homelessness by joining Habitat for Humanity. They focus on addressing the issue of homelessness as well as sub-standard housing.
Mercyhurst provides students with local opportunities for Habitat for Humanity as well as the spring break trips. This year the trips will be to North Carolina and New Mexico.
If you would like to learn more about service projects or trips, please visit the Service Learning section on the Mercyhurst portal.