The Alternative Break Institutional (ABI) grant program provides one ICC campus with a $1,500 grant. The purpose of ABI is to provide campuses with the opportunity to showcase their campus and community through an Indiana-based Alternative Break program for students from across the state.
This year, ICC partnered 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, five students from three college/university campuses spent a week learning about Indianapolis’s homeless population. Students from Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University North Central, and the University of Indianapolis came 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;
- Share resources and best practices on effective Alterative Break program models; and
- Form relationships with a group of students from across the state.
During this Alternative Break experience, students engaged in volunteer service focusing on homelessness awareness. Students also gained valuable skills, resources, training, and support on implementing effective Alternative Break programs on their campus. ICC and IUPUI’s Center for Service & Learning partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations located within the community, such as, Wheeler Mission Ministries, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention of Greater Indianapolis (CHIP), School on Wheels, Second Helpings, Pour House, and the Center for Women and Children. These partnerships allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of the issue of homelessness and what resources are available to address the root causes of homelessness within Indianapolis. Finally, participants gained a critical understanding of how poverty affects the lives of everyone in Indiana and how it is one of the most central social issues that Indiana faces today and how it touches nearly all other social issues within the state.