As a university student who has always had a warm and comfortable home to live in, the idea of being homeless, if even for a few days, seems foreign to me. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who don’t have a cozy bed to crawl into at night, a hot shower, or a good breakfast to eat before class each morning. But homelessness is an issue that our society certainly faces. Many people, even young people, are faced with the struggles of having no fixed address – no place to call home. I was so excited to find out that my friend, Ilhaam Jiwaji was a member of a group that brings awareness to and raises funds for this cause, 5 Days for the Homeless.
Ilhaam, a second-year Business student, is making a commitment to change our community for the better. After taking a Sociology class called “Youth in Society,” Ilhaam’s eyes were opened to the prevalence of youth homelessness. She decided that she wanted to take action and help to drive change in her community.
As Ilhaam begins her journey, she is most nervous about what impact the weather will have on the experience. Leading up to the event, she was posting on her social media hoping somebody could lend her a warm sleeping bag for the week (which is a luxury she realizes that most homeless youth do not have). She will be outside from 7pm – 7 am each day of the campaign, and her access to amenities like showers, cell phones, and clean clothes will be restricted. She is looking forward to the opportunity to bond with other members of her team, and is hopeful that they will raise both money and awareness for their cause throughout the 5 day period. “100% of the proceeds we raise are donated to the Youth Empowerment Support Services,” says Ilhaam, “We have a goal of $50,000 dollars this year!”
Ilhaam, who is a writer for the Lazy Fair Business School Magazine, and a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity, expects the experience to be “life changing”. Ilhaam will still be attending regular university classes throughout the week, adding to the challenge.
Ilhaam, and the rest of the 5 Days for the Homeless team, will be camped out in front of the business building until March 14th. Here’s a glimpse of what they’ve already been up to:
So if you happen to be walking past the Business Building, stop by to lend your support and learn a little more about how you can help the homeless.