LHS students Anna Eskender, Avery Lawrence and Anneliese Deal worked together to set up a sleeping area under the bleachers near the high school for the Tigers in Service Shantytown event.
Experience used to better understand the plight of the homeless
Loveland, Ohio – – The Loveland High School (LHS) Tigers in Service Club set up makeshift tents under the stadium bleachers and spent the night April 22-23 so 30 students could experience a “Shantytown” event.
“The students were seeking to raise awareness about homelessness by offering their peers at LHS the chance to experience life as a homeless person for one night,” said LHS Teacher and Tigers in Service Sponsor Rachel Bierkan.
“After participating in Shantytown, my eyes were truly opened to many of the harsh realities of homelessness,” said LHS Senior Lydia Powell. “Homelessness is a major issue in today’s world and we wanted to do Shantytown to bring some attention to this problem and break some of the stereotypes that are often associated with it. It is amazing how much we take for granted in our daily lives. Shantytown helped to remind us of how fortunate we really are.”
During the 18-hour event students listened to speakers and participated in activities to further their education on homelessness. Most inspiring was the narrative shared by a woman who had experienced homelessness herself.
“It was a great way for us to realize how fortunate we are,” said LHS Senior Anna Eskender. “Most of us are privileged in many ways and it’s easy to lose sight of this as we go about our adolescence. This event truly took us out of our comfort zone and helped us understand what really counts and what really matters in life.”
“I thought it was an amazing learning experience for all participants and helped everyone to understand the realities of homelessness,” said LHS Senior Nicole Goret.
“This event was organized by some of our senior students,” said Bierkan. “They are passionate about understanding what they can do to help. It was a successful learning experience.”