GREENCASTLE -- DePauw University and local Putnam County high school students will host the free, interactive event "Home Sweet Home: An Exploration of the Facets of Homelessness."
The evening's program is modeled after Oxfam's Hunger Banquet. Initially developed by Oxfam America, a non-profit organization that works to end global poverty, the focus of the program will shift to address specific issues of homelessness.
The program will highlight issues of youth and adult homelessness in Putnam County and Greater Indiana as well as present relevant legislative policies and statistics.
The DePauw event will begin at 5 p.m. March 4 in the ballroom of the Memorial Student Union Building. The event is free and open to the public.
During the month of January, a group of 17 DePauw students and faculty participated in a winter term in service program through the Hartman House.
The group traveled to San Diego, Calif. to partner with the local chapter of StandUp For Kids. StandUp for Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting success among the youth homeless community through outreach programs, counseling, etc.
After spending three weeks working and building relationships with the youth homeless population in San Diego, the WTIS team would like to share the experience with the greater DePauw and Putnam County communities.
According to statistics provided by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, youth homelessness is "disturbingly common" in the United States. An estimated 5 to 7.7 percent of youth experience homelessness each year.
Between 17 and 35 percent of homeless youth have fled situations of abuse. Tragically, statistics predict that this year, one in 260 runaways and homeless youths will die from assault, illness and suicide. A third of all runaways will attempt suicide.
The event "Home Sweet Home: An Exploration of the Facets of Homelessness" will include an interactive dinner and information about how participants can help reduce the problems of not only youth but also adult homelessness in our own community.
The activities are being planned by Hartman House Civic Interns, 2010 Winter Term in Service San Diego participants.