Monday, August 31, 2015

Indiana College Students Will Learn What It Means To Be Homeless

  Students from Indiana Campus Compact member campuses across the state are participating in a week-long alternative break focusing on homelessness in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) is partnering with Indiana University-Purdue University—Indianapolis (IUPUI) Center for Service & Learning to host “Your Impact on Homelessness”, a summer break alternative for Indiana college students.  From May 22 through May 26, 2011, a group of students from four college campuses will spend a week learning about Indianapolis’s homeless population, including spending four nights in one of two homeless shelters.

Students from Indiana University Bloomington, IUPUI, Purdue University North Central, and the University of Indianapolis will come together to:

  • Stay 5 days and 4 nights at a homeless shelter in downtown Indianapolis;
  • Learn about root causes of homelessness;
  • Gain in-depth exposure to the subculture of urban homelessness in Indianapolis;
  • Be exposed to racial, spiritual, and socio-economic diversity; and
  • Form relationships with a group of students from across the state;

During this Alternative Break experience, students will engage in volunteer service and address a critical need affecting our state. Students will also gain valuable skills, resources, training, and support on implementing effective Alternative Break programs on their campus.

ICC and IUPUI’s Center for Service & Learning will partner with a number of nonprofit organizations located within the community, such as, Wheeler Mission Ministries and Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention of Greater Indianapolis (CHIP). These partnerships will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the issue of homelessness and what resources are available to address the root causes of homelessness.

Last year’s program changed the students’ views of persons experiencing homelessness and gave them a new perspective on solutions.  When reflecting on the program, one student said,”I not only learned about the homeless population, the magnitude of the problem, how much still needs done, and the ‘politics’ involved, but how ignorant society can be because they are in denial. Every person can make a difference in resolving the issue in their own method. Even though I am one person, I can make a difference in someone's life, which will help someone else and cause a ripple effect for the good.”

Funding for “Your Impact on Homelessness” was provided by ICC through generous support from Lilly Endowment, Inc.  ICC’s annual Alternative Break Institutional Program (ABI) awards one member campus a $1,500 grant to support an Indiana-based Alternative Break.  The ABI program provides member campuses with the opportunity to showcase their campus and community and participation is available to students from other ICC campuses.

Indiana Campus Compact supports higher education’s efforts to develop students into well-informed, engaged citizens. By providing programs, services, and resources, ICC serves as a catalyst for campuses and communities to improve people’s lives through service-learning and civic engagement initiatives. For more information, please visit

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.