PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 31, 3014 – Owens Community College students will spend a night under the stars to raise homeless awareness as part of the academic institution’s ninth annual Sleep Out for the Homeless Tent City on Friday, April 4
Beginning at 5 p.m., Owens students will spend 16 consecutive hours camping out on the College’s courtyard lawn outside the Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus. The goal of the sleep out is to make more people aware of homelessness occurring in the surrounding communities, and to collect non-perishable food and hygiene donations to benefit Family House of Toledo. The event will conclude at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 5.
“The Owens Community College Tent City Event is a very important advocacy moment for our students,” says Lilian Briggs, Student Government president. “It is an opportunity to incite compassion and future advocates to challenge stereotypes regarding homelessness. It is an avenue to raise awareness about how homelessness impacts education, families, and our larger community and potentially students on our own campuses.”
Owens students and employees and community members are encouraged to show their support by dropping off donations. Desired items include toilet paper, deodorant, razors, wash cloths, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, non-perishable food items. Donations can be dropped off on the College’s courtyard lawn outside the Student Health and Activities Center during the Sleep Out for the Homeless Tent City event.
Located at 669 Indiana Avenue, Family House was established in 1985 by the African American ministers of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA). Known as the Toledo Community Service Center in the early years of the organization, the ministers and their congregations were very actively involved in providing money for the annual budget, obtaining furnishings and remaining in the shelter overnight with individuals sleeping there. Over the years, much of that involvement shifted to staff, and churches now support the shelter through volunteer efforts, financial support and donations to families. Currently, one founding minister sits on Family House’s Board of Directors.
The Owens’ Office of Student Activities is coordinating the Sleep Out for the Homeless Tent City event. For more information about the event, including donation information, call (567) 661-2569 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 2569.