On Monday November 15, Converse College students will take off their comfortable sneakers and step into the shoes of the victims of poverty. Despite the fact that life on a college campus is fairly cushy, Converse students say they are increasingly aware that beyond the gates of the College; there are homeless citizens in Spartanburg who need help.
For an entire week the Converse campus will look at life through another lens while calling attention to the challenges of homelessness. Beginning with a “Hunger Banquet” slated for 6 pm Monday, November 15, and then an organized “Sleep-Out” on Friday, November 19, students will be immersed in a week of activities that underscore the needs of low-income and homeless families in the Upstate.
“As part of National Hunger and Homelessness Week, Converse students are joining college students across the country to talk about the challenges of poverty that exist in our own backyards, says Kelly MCrell.” As the AmeriCorps* VISTA volunteer at Converse, McCrell says students are eager to learn how they can get out and make a difference.
Beyond the visual aids calling attention to the week (cardboard posters on campus, and homemade shanties on the quad) Converse students will actually have the opportunity to talk with upstate residents who have lived through the struggles of homelessness. “It’s one thing to try and imagine the issues that go hand-in-hand with poverty, says McCrell, but to actually meet people who are willing to talk about being homeless is very different.”