Youth homelessness awareness event

A recent Social Justice Initiative panel on Nov. 9 highlighted ways housing insecurity and homelessness are local problems.

The “You Are Not Alone” event created awareness for youth homelessness. It educated students to not assume everyone has access to a place to sleep or eat.

Associate Professor of Sociology Jamie McCauley is the program director with the Social Justice Research Initiative.

“After suffering through our share of tragedies, it is important to know that we as students and faculty must care for one another, which should not be overlooked,” McCauley said.

The event also featured the Eastern Carolina Housing Organization’s Ashley Nance, Associate Dean of Students Harry Titus, the Rolling Forward Program’s Stephanie Southworth, and Social Justice Club Vice President LaDarius Scott.

The panel members answered questions students had about the invisible threats and experiences homelessness may inflict.

“More people need to be aware of how housing situations affect college situations, which then affect a student’s physical, emotional and mental well-being before making a decision to live on or off campus,” junior Brooke Dimery said.

According to U.S. News, about 43% of all students at four-year institutions suffer from some form of housing and food insecurity. Hardships like often affect groups such as the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other minority groups. The purpose of the event is to learn how to provide support to the homeless, and to spark action on campus.

“I feel homelessness is a huge problem in our community, so we should do everything in our power to stop it,” first- year student Carter Mathis said.