WSSU students sleep in boxes to wrap up Homelessness Awareness Week on campus

WSSU students sleep in boxes to wrap up Homelessness Awareness Week

WSSU students sleep in boxes to wrap up Homelessness Awareness Week on campus
November 23
08:00 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson



Tents, sleeping bags and cardboard boxes made into makeshift forts were spread out in the grass near the clock tower  at Winston-Salem State University last Friday night as students braved the elements to bring awareness to homelessness in the area.

The event, sponsored by the Delta Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, has been an annual tradition at WSSU for the last 20 years. This year, more than a dozen students joined fraternity members, and ditched the comfort of their dorm rooms to experience what hundreds of homeless people in the area endure year-round.

“You have to be a strong person to live under these conditions,” said WSSU sophomore Jasmine Reed.

Reed, a political science major, said she decided to participate this year because she felt the need to give back to the community.

“I honestly feel like we need to give back to our own community instead of looking for others to do it for us,” she continued.

“There’s always strength in family.”

In addition to the sleep out, this year the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma sponsored a number of events throughout the week to bring even more awareness to the growing poverty rate, and homelessness here in the city.

To jumpstart the week on Monday, Nov. 14 someone from the Bethesda Center discussed their trials and tribulations during a open forum style event. The fraternity also held a candlelight vigil,  and collected non-perishable food, school supplies, clothes and monetary donations for those in need. Vice president of the chapter, Lamont felt the need to do more this year because a lot of people don’t understand what homeless people go through and how big of an issue poverty is here in Winston-Salem.

When it comes to ranking the poorest urban areas in the state, Winston-Salem has three areas that rank in the top 10, which is directly linked to the number of people living without homes in the East, Southeast and Northeast wards. While Mayor Allen Joines and members of City Council have established the Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force to combat the issue, Allen, who is a senior business administration major, said more has to be done.

“It makes me sad when I ride around the city and see people sleeping in cardboard boxes and on the street,” he continued. “So to be out here tonight helping those in need makes me feel good, but I still believe more needs to be done.”

“Although we’re only students and most of us will only be here 3 or 4 years, it feels good to be able to make a difference. It’s our responsibility to bring about change; elected officials can only do so much.”

While speaking with The Chronicle, Delta Alpha member and current WSSU senior Jamarkis Mitchell said after the week of events, the affects of homelessness really hit home.

“Of course, sleeping outside one night doesn’t give the full affect of what it’s like to be homeless, but after the event on Monday and others throughout the week, it really makes you appreciate what you have and not take things for granted.”

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors