ECSU Students Participate in Eye-opening Homelessness Exercise
“Hey, that’s a lady in that box!”
“Look at this sign: Housing is a Human Right!”
“That’s right; Housing is a human right .”
“Yo, man, this is important.”
“I’m glad you are doing this.”
“Ssshh, be quiet. Can’t you see they’re trying to sleep?”
“Can I make a donation?”
“Are you going to do this next year? I will help.”
These are just a few of the comments made by students as they passed a simulated homeless camp near University Suites in late April. The site was created by students in ECSU’s Health and Human Studies Department.
Ezra, an Aviation Science major, whipped out his phone to post information about what he saw on social media; many other students did the same.
Jendaya S., a Social Work major, and Krystina C., a Kinesiology major, slept outside along with Drs. Jacqueline Huff, Psychology program, and Cynthia Morris, Social Work program. They reported sleeping out made them think more about the challenges people who are homeless face – being passed by, trying to stay warm, dealing with the noise, and having to go to work or school when homeless.
Homelessness is defined as, but is not limited to, having temporary shelter or having inadequate housing and sleeping arrangements – sleeping in cars, tents, and under bridges. In January 2020, it was estimated that 9,280 individuals were homeless in North Carolina, and of these, 485 were between the ages of 18 and 24.
People who are homeless may be concerned with health and safety, food insecurity, and accessing needed services. A person who is homeless may have difficulty meeting basic needs, finding a job, and completing tasks that we may take for granted.
Homelessness was selected by ECSU’s Health and Human Studies Engagement Committee because it touches all areas of the department – kinesiology and health, psychology, pharmacy, and social work. The committee will be seeking student involvement in the planning of programs next year. One topic, homelessness, is already on the list.
If you or a fellow student is experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, contact the Dean of Students, 500 Griffin Hall, at 252-335-3276.
The ECSU Department of Health and Human Studies would like to thank Chief McMasters, Officer Shivers, and Facilities Management for their assistance.
- ECSU Viking Plus: This comprehensive set of initiatives includes free credits, emergency funding, and housing and meal plan grants. The university strives to give you the individual attention and resources needed to be successful at ECSU and empower you to conquer your dreams.
- Cornell Law School – General Definition of a Homeless Individual
- U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness – North Carolina Statistics