Homeless Reality: Hunger for Justice Week Sheds Light on a Local Issue
Hunger for Justice Week occurred from November 13-19. The week consisted of events that ranged from a Fast for Hunger, where students were able to donate a portion of their meal cost to the homeless, to the Homeless Experience, where students would volunteer to spend a number of hours in a box in order to raise awareness about homelessness.
“The box experience was good because it shows you what homelessness is like, and how close to home it really is,” sophomore Amanda Gallagher, psychology major, said.
Event organizer Tammy Fritz of the Shoval Center reflected on her Hunger for Justice experience.
When Fritz attended King’s, she and her friends would usually sign up for one of the overnight shifts of the Homeless Experience. During her sophomore year, she and her three friends were provided with one box to sit in. That particular year a shopping cart somehow appeared next to the box, so she decided to sit in it during her volunteer hours.
According to Fritz, Hunger for Justice Week has been taking place for over a decade and the events have always been the same.
Junior Dan Simpson, neuroscience and biology major, attended the candle light vigil and the dinner banquet for the first time this year, and said that they were both life-changing experiences.
“About 30 people gathered in Monarch Court the night of the vigil and were given candles and the name of a homeless person who had died on the streets in Wilkes-Barre this past year,” Simpson said.
Simpson read multiple readings throughout the vigil. The readings included a story about keeping an open mind about people who are different than us and a selection from Mother Theresa about how homeless people need not only our money, but our love as well.
“After these opening readings, each individual lighted the candle of the person next to theirs, and then read aloud the name of the homeless person who had died on the streets in the past year,” Simpson said. “This part of the experience was very touching as you are praying for someone you may have once seen walking on the streets, but never thought, ‘what could I do for them?’”
To begin helping with the problem of homelessness, Simpson said, “A simple prayer is a start.”
To get involved, visit the Shoval Center located behind the Chapel on N. Franklin St.