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Alternative Weekend Trip

Beyond the Stereotype: Homeless Awareness in Atlanta, GA

About The Trip: 

This trip aims to provide students with a jumpstart to their involvement in serving individuals who experience homelessness in the Atlanta area. Throughout the three-day trip, we will be volunteering at a wide range of homeless shelters and organizations. This will provide students with awareness of both the different types of homelessness that people experience as well as the different approaches organizations take to alleviate homelessness. This will include organizations such as women and children’s shelters, transition homes, and emergency overflow shelters, where we will provide services such as food preparation and distribution, cleaning, intake, or simply just interacting with the clients at the shelters. Our goal is to not only serve those who are experiencing homelessness, but also to empathize and build relationships with the individuals that we serve.

About the Social Justice Issue: 

Homelessness is defined as being without permanent residence. On any given night approximately 7,000 Atlantans are homeless. On some nights, the numbers go as high as 13,000, and of these, approximately 20% of them are children, and approximately 20% of the adults are veterans. Because of the stereotypes that are associated with homelessness, society has put a stigma on the condition of homelessness. In order to better serve those experiencing homelessness, these stereotypes must be broken down in order to see the true face of homelessness, which is the face of an individual with a story. It is important to understand that many people end up homeless for reasons beyond their control, whether it is a sudden unemployment, medical condition, mental illness, or past felony. It is the purpose of this trip to bring awareness to the true aspects of homelessness that lie beyond the stereotypes, and how organizations across the city are working to give individuals a helping hand in getting back up on their feet.

About the Leaders: 

Kevin Ding is a junior in the College from Irvine, California. He is studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Spanish. Some of his campus involvements are Residence Life and RHA, as well as research in neuroengineering and epilepsy. In his free time, he enjoys long boarding and swimming.

Paula Cheng is a junior from Atlanta, Georgia studying accounting in the Business School. On campus she is involved with the Barkley Forum Debate team, Homeless Outreach & Awareness Project, and orientation. She loves watching soccer and is a self-proclaimed foodie.

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