HPU Students Raise Awareness for Homelessness

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 29, 2014 – Students at High Point University recently participated in Act! Speak! Build! Week, a national homelessness awareness week sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, April 6 through 12.

This is the first year the HPU Habitat for Humanity chapter has participated in Act! Speak! Build! Week. Throughout the week, the chapter hosted various events geared toward raising awareness and eradicating poverty housing in the community. Events included a t-shirt sale; screening of the Tent City, U.S.A. homelessness documentary; writing letters to Congress about poverty housing issues; and an outdoor overnight event of games, live music and a shantytown competition in which over 100 students built their own cardboard shelters for the night.

The HPU chapter participates in builds once a month through its local affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of High Point, Archdale and Trinity. To end their Act! Speak! Build! Week efforts, student volunteers worked at a local house on April 12, finalizing the structure for its dedication. Students performed both interior and exterior work, mopping floors, cleaning windows, painting doors, raking and sodding the yard, planting shrubbery and power washing the front porch.

After the build, students were also able to attend the house’s dedication, a move-in celebration for a family whose house was provided by Habitat for Humanity. The HPU Habitat chapter has worked on the house since the day the foundation was set.

“We worked hard to devote every day to a different component of service: awareness, advocacy and action,” says Taylor Hemphill, HPU Habitat for Humanity chapter president. “Every day we had more and more people talking and asking questions about Habitat for Humanity and its effect on the local community – and that’s the point of it all… The most rewarding part was to see the fellowship of hundreds of students throughout the week.”

The HPU chapter of Habitat for Humanity has over 700 members, with 160 active participants. The club anticipates making Act! Speak! Build! Week an annual event for future years.

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