Some University of Lethbridge students are braving the elements this week to better understand what it feels like to be homeless – while raising awareness and donations for the Lethbridge Emergency Youth Shelter.
As part of the 5 Days for the Homeless, the students have given up basic necessities, sleeping outside the university in a cardboard ‘home’ and living on only donated food and toiletries, all while still fulfilling academic and extra curricular responsibilities.
The students admit their experiences this week are only a small sampling of what it must be like to be homeless.
“It is not as bad as you would think,” wrote Filipe Ferreira on the group’s live blog Monday night. “I truly believe that all the uncertainty we have been going through for the past 24 hours is not nearly as great as the true homeless life. I feel like the time has been passing really fast and we are making good progress when it comes to donations.”
But by Wednesday some of the students were beginning to get a hint of the stigma that accompanies homelessness.
“I’m really starting to feel the pressure and rejection. People ignoring me is really starting to take a toll on me,” wrote Dominic Fode, Wednesday.
“I’m very tired and feeling pretty under the weather from veering away from my normal diet. I feel like we are starting to annoy some of the student body,” wrote Diana Adamo.
The annual 5 Days for the Homeless is a national campaign, developed by students to increase awareness of homelessness and raise donations for charitable organizations and shelters.
To date, the campaign has raised more than $1 million.
Wood’s Homes and the Lethbridge Emergency Youth Shelter would like to give a massive thank you to the students for their amazing achievement and support.
To donate to this excellent campaign: http://5days.ca/lethbridge/donate
To read their day-to-day experiences, check out their blog: http://5days.ca/lethbridge