By | Charlotte Rutigliano
Chant’e Catt and Mike Barnes, along with the Homeless Student Advocate Alliance (HSAA), are seeking to create a greater connection for students, the university, and the community. Something they plan on doing with the upcoming events after fall break.
Catt is the founder and president of the HSAA. She said that an estimated 15 percent of students experience homelessness while attending HSU.
Catt founded the HSAA last September to give a voice to students experiencing homelessness.
“I eat, breathe and sleep this club,” Catt said. “This club is support for students who find themselves seeking housing.”
Barnes, who is the current vice president for HSAA, said the three-day event is one of the biggest events they’ve done on campus, especially since they’ve taken on a lot of the event planning and marketing.
“If I described this event in one word, it would be ‘necessary,’” said Barnes.
Barnes said there isn’t enough information for students who have housing insecurities.
According to Barnes, the event will include both student and community led organizations, such as the Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, Inc. (AHHA).
Nezzie Wade is president of the board of AHHA. Wade said that they have worked with several groups of students at the university on housing-related issues and projects.
Both Catt and Barnes said this event will open up a dialogue for students and will help bridge the local community with the student community.
Barnes said that it might be hard to find seating for the first two days of the events because of how much support they’ve gotten from the community.
Day 1 – Nov. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. on the HSU University Quad.
Afternoon sustainability fair consisting of student innovations and ideas of sustainable living outside of traditional dwellings.
Housing: Indigenous Insights 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Native American Forum at HSU.
A night of storytelling featuring Jene McCovey, an open forum for attendees to share their stories.
Day 2 – Housing: Social Justice Insights Nov. 29th from 6 pm to 8 pm in the Native American Forum at HSU.
Perspectives on social justice and breaking stigma. Featuring a Native Speaker and Vernon Price, a highly knowledgeable advocate for homelessness rights and co-star in I Am I was Homeless, a featured video to be shown; faculty members from the Department of Social Work, members of the Multi-Cultural Center, Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives and more representatives from HSU.
Day 3 – Housing: Innovative Insights Nov. 30 from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. in the University Center Quad at HSU.
The final day of the summit will consist of an idea fair, featuring student, faculty, and community projects focusing on anecdotal solutions to housing insecurity. The workshop will provide opportunities to acquire skills that will help support the lifestyle should you encounter it.