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Campus Activities Focus Attention on L.A.'s Homeless

Homeless Awareness Week on the Loyola Marymount University campus offered students a chance to glimpse the hard lessons that often result from hard times. Through a weeklong series of activities sponsored by university departments and student service organizations, LMU students develop a deeper understanding of Los Angeles’ least-fortunate citizens.

Homeless Awareness Week - 2010“We hoped to educate the LMU community on this pressing social issue right in our own backyard,” said Robert Santilli, a junior in business administration and student director of LMU’s initiative Feed the Hungry.

Feed the Hungry, a Campus Ministry program, made lunch meals and care packages Tuesday that were distributed to the homeless population in Westchester, Santa Monica and Hollywood. On Tuesday night, members of LMU’s service organizations and Kappa Alpha Theta engaged in a reflection followed by a sleep-out in the Robert B. Lawton, S.J. Plaza to raise awareness and foster solidarity with the homeless.

The Hunger Banquet, sponsored by the Center for Service and Action and Lambda Chi Alpha, presented an interactive event Wednesday evening focusing on the disproportional distribution of food around the world. After the banquet, Phillip K. Tompkins, author of “Who is My Neighbor: Communicating and Organizing to End Homelessness,” and a former communication professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, talked about developing a plan in Denver that was identified in this year as a model program to end homelessness by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.

About 200 students participated in the week’s events, which included a maze to illustrate the myriad difficulties homeless people encounter and a day of reflection.

Posted Nov. 12, 2010