‘One Night Without a Home’
Loveland High School (LHS) students – on a mission to raise awareness of poverty, hunger and homelessness – participated in a second annual “One Night Without a Home” Shantytown event 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the LHS softball/baseball fields. A total of 33 students used boxes and duct tape to construct a place to sleep for the evening.
"One night sleeping in a box does not compare to the experiences an individual or family might have being homeless for a week, a month, or a year. Shantytown was not designed to be a simulation of homelessness for our students, but a way of bringing attention to the plight of the hungry and homeless through speakers and activities throughout the evening," explained Beth Wexler, LHS teacher and staff organizer for the event. “One way our students wanted to give back locally was the collection of canned goods at LHS and the stocking of the L.I.F.E. Food Pantry on Saturday morning after Shantytown. I am hopeful that the students will think twice when they see a homeless person and have more empathy for their situation.”
Guest speakers who presented at the Shantytown event included Chief Tim Sabransky of the Loveland Police Department, Streetvibes Editor Justin Jeffre and Sam – a member of the Voice of the Homeless Speakers Bureau – who shared a personal account of homelessness with participants.
“I hope the Shantytown participants will be able to have intelligent conversations surrounding the problem of homelessness and hunger, that they will share their experiences with family and friends, and that they will become advocates for the homeless,” said Wexler.
Photo caption: LHS Sophomores Aiden Dial, Anna Eskender, Lauren Catalfino, Emily Poole, Rachel Oberholzer participate in the Shantytown event.