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Students Sleep Outside for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

by Janelle Hill Oct 22, 2021
DeSales Night Out for Homeless 2021 DeSales University

DSU students are standing in solidarity with those who are hungry and unhoused.  

The Oxfam America club, Office of Community Service and Advocacy, and Campus Ministry sponsored a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Events included a documentary and donuts night discussing youth homelessness in Philadelphia and an Oxfam banquet where students took part in a meal from across the globe, but with a twist. Participants were split into groups according to different income levels. 

“We split the groups up into the different percentages that you see globally,” says Andrew Beers ’22, a communication major. “We had 50% of our participants sit on the floor, 30% sit in chairs, and we only had one person sit at the table. It was the craziest thing to see how many people were in the different groups.”  

The main event of the week was a night out. Students slept outside the Dorothy Day Student Union with sleeping bags, blankets, and even cardboard. They also played an interactive online game called Spent, which challenged them to manage their money and raise a child with just $1,000 a month.  

Jessika Buenaventura ’22, an early childhood elementary education major, says the experience will help prepare her for her career as a teacher. 

“Since I’m an education major, I know that poverty, homelessness, and hunger are really big issues in our schools,” she says. “I’m hoping to empathize more with the students that I will have in my classroom who are suffering from those issues.” 

The groups sponsoring Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week are also holding a raffle to help the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia assist Afghan refugees. Contact Jaime Gerhart, director of the Office of Community Service and Advocacy, at for your chance to win a wearable blanket, a YETI bottle, and a lawn chair with a built-in cooler. The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 23. 

The Oxfam America club meets Thursday nights on Zoom. For more information, contact Jessika Buenaventura at or Andrew Beers at