Centre Bonner Scholar Organizes Hunger & Homelessness Week

November 7, 2018 — by Kerry Steinhofer from Centre College website

The Centre College community will hold its annual Poverty and Homelessness Week, Nov. 10-17, to help bring awareness and combat these issues on a local and state level, with a focus on Eastern Kentucky.

Hunger & Homelessness Awarenes Week in the Bonner Network

At least nine other schools in the Bonner Network are also organizing events for Hunger and Homelessness Week. They include: Berea College, Montclair State University, Morehouse College, Rider University, Stockton University, University of Dayton, Warren Wilson College, Washburn University and Widener University.

The initiative is a culmination of work and collaboration between Centre and various communities that the campus engages with as an institution.

“Each year, the week is structured differently depending on that year’s focus and allows for flexibility when addressing issues of poverty and homelessness, which are incredibly intersectional and complex,” Bonner Leader Hannah Gibbs ’19 said. “On a more personal note, I see the week as a chance for our campus community to engage with our own values of servant leadership and global citizenship on an accessible scale for students, faculty and staff.”

Throughout the week, the campus community has the opportunity to participate in conversation and personal education about topics that are often pushed aside.

Centre College Bonners hosts Bonners from Berea College and Lindsey Wilson College who attended Centre’s opening Saturday of Poverty and Homelessness Awareness Week (as part of Bonner Sophomore Exchange).

While issues of poverty and homelessness are often part of class curriculum, they are seldom the primary focus. This week places them at the forefront of campus attention, which allows an opportunity for the Centre community to examine those issues through the context of our education and related work on campus.

“The week is designed so that everyone has a chance to learn and everyone has a chance to teach,” she said.

Gibbs added that the goal of the initiative is to begin deliberate conversations not only about the region of Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia but also the topic of poverty and homelessness in a variety of contexts.

The week-long event also allows a space for learning, where people can ask and answer questions, and where participation is encouraged. Solutions for issues related to poverty and homelessness require collaboration effort across a range of disciplines.

For Gibbs, this topic is incredibly personal, as she is a proud native of Eastern Kentucky. She said she’s looking forward to the chance to see what people in the community have to say, learning more about the place she calls home, as well as sharing her own thoughts, ideas and hopes for the future.

“People can definitely look forward to learning something they don’t know, myself included,” she added.

According to Gibbs, the campus community can look forward to conversations about topics they may have never even considered, as well as meeting and hearing a wide array of voices. They also can look forward to a variety of events, hopefully at least one of which will inspire a passion toward involvement.

“I’m very excited and grateful that this week has been allowed to happen,” she concluded. “I want to encourage everyone to attend whatever you can. There is a place for all members of our Centre community in these conversations, and I look forward to learning from all of you.”

Visit the Poverty and Homelessness Week website for more information.

Poverty and Homelessness Week events:
Community-based Homeless Shelter Service Day and Discussion
Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (lunch and dinner included)
220 E. 4th Street, London, KY 40741
Sign up here

Distribution of Boxes for Hygiene Product Drive 
Sunday, Nov. 11 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Meet at the Bingham Parking Lot 
Sign up here

Convocation with Former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton
Monday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. 
Newlin Hall 

You’ll Never Leave Harlem Alive: The Story of Poverty in Eastern Kentucky 
Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. 
The Ewen Room in the Campus Center

Baseline: Poverty and Education in Eastern Kentucky 
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. 
Campus Center Room 201 
Sign up here 

Food Insecurity Dinner 
Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. 
The Ewen Room in the Campus Center 
Sign up here for the dinner (limited to 50 non-presenter participants)
Sign up here to help set up at 5:30 p.m.

Box Sleep Out 
Friday, Nov. 16 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. 
Campus Center lawn (Cowan rain location)
Sign up here to participate for any amount of time
Sign up here to sponsor a participant

Hygiene Product Drive Collection and Sorting 
Saturday, Nov. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. 
Combs Center Warehouse 
Sign up here to help collect and sort

Week-long events
Friday Night Cowan Swipe Donation 
Donate your Friday night meal swipe by 5 p.m. on Friday either outside of Cowan or on the linked spreadsheet found here.

Hygiene Product Collection 
Sunday, Nov. 13 after 6 p.m. to Saturday, Nov. 17 by noon. 
Campus Center lobby, Young Hall lobby, Olin Hall lobby and Crounse Hal