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Homelessness and Poverty

Detroit, MI

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Renowned in the 1950s for its booming car business, the city of Detroit has since fallen on hard times; “Motor City” residents continuously struggle against high rates of poverty, crime, and urban decay. Myriad service organizations have sprung up to facilitate the city’s rejuvenation: Urban Neighborhood Initiatives fosters land stewardship and education in the Springwells Village neighborhood, the Heidelberg Project enables street transformation through art, Nortown tackles community development in the Eight Mile Road area, and Michigan Urban Farming Initiative empowers communities through sustainable agriculture and redevelopment. Participants will assist these organizations in their missions by completing outdoor beautification projects, art installation upkeep, community education initiatives, and urban agriculture development. A week spent in Detroit will challenge participants to visualize a city’s potential from a grassroots standpoint.

Site Leaders: TBD
Site Cost: $258

Nashville, TN

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Beyond the Vanderbilt bubble, the city of Nashville is rapidly growing. With high urbanization comes displacement and gentrification, meaning higher rates of homelessness. On this site, participants will work with a variety of organizations tackling these issues from different angles. They’ll work with Open Table Nashville, an organization that advocates for the homeless, provides basic and long-term aid, and educates the public about homelessness, as well as with Room in the Inn, an organization that seeks to serve the homeless by offering food, clothing, and shelter. Students will help out at Safe Haven, a shelter for families experiencing homelessness, and the Nashville Food Project, Second Harvest, and Loaves and Fishes, organizations committed to alleviating food insecurity. Throughout the week, students will engage in several educational immersion experiences in which they interact with the homeless population and learn about homelessness within their own city.

Site Leaders: TBD
Site Cost: $248

Bloomington, IN

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According to the USDA’s 2015 report, approximately 12.7% of American households are food insecure, with one in five children affected by food insecurity. The rate is even higher in Indiana, where 15.4% of Indiana residents are experiencing food insecurity. This site seeks to learn about and address this issue through a variety of different organizations, all unified by the common goal of eliminating the growing issue of hunger in Bloomington. Participants will volunteer with Pantry 279, an entirely volunteer-run food pantry started by girl scouts, and also with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a pantry distributing healthy food in a manner that is dignified and promotes self-sufficiency. Finally, participants will learn about how food is collected and distributed to non-profit pantries by spending a day at Hoosier Hills Food Bank. By the end of the week, participants will have developed a deeper understanding of how to combat food insecurity.

Site Leaders: TBD
Site Cost: $308

San Francisco, CA

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Situated near the heart of San Francisco’s financial district, the impoverished Tenderloin district stands in stark comparison to the affluent neighborhoods that surround it. Although it is a vibrant hub for ethnic diversity, the Tenderloin is also one of the most economically depressed and crime-ridden regions of San Francisco. During the week, participants will work alongside a variety of San Francisco organizations including GLIDE, the St. Anthony Foundation, The Homeless Prenatal Program, and San Francisco SafeHouse on various projects such as preparing and serving meals, aiding with homeless outreach initiatives, and engaging with the people that these organizations serve. Each of these organizations offer a unique approach to the goal of eliminating homelessness, allowing participants to compare and contrast strategies. Throughout the week, participants on this site will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique culture of the area and to gain a deeper understanding of the reality of life in the Golden Gate City.

Site Leaders: TBD
Site Cost: $523

Houston, TX

As the nation’s fourth largest and most diverse city, Houston is a thriving hub for sporting and cultural events, travel, and businesses. Unfortunately, these factors make it one of the largest hubs for human trafficking in the nation. Participants on this site will begin the week by partnering with Redeemed Ministries to participate in a “Human Trafficking 101” and “Realities of Survivor Care” training. They will also help with needed outdoor tasks, work in the clothing closet, and socialize with the women. Next, the group with work with United Against Human Trafficking to learn about and complete a Red Sand Project. Later in the week, participants will partner with Elijah Rising to assist with needed tasks and outreach work. During the week, the group will be faced with the reality of trafficking through participation in a Van Tour through high-probability trafficking areas in Houston. Lastly, the group will visit the Museum of Modern Day Slavery, which is dedicated to awareness and prevention of human trafficking. Throughout the week, participants will reflect on the harsh realities of slavery in the modern world and the lack of awareness in the community at large.

**TRIGGER WARNING** This site may contain content that is triggering to survivors of sexual assault/violence. Please reach out to a board member with questions and concerns.

Site Leaders: TBD
Site Cost: $283