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- Poverty - STEAM TEAMS
- Centre County
We are the Support the Homeless STEAM TEAM at the C3 Educational CO-OP of State College, PA.
We found out that there are 40 people without shelter at night in State College. That number is getting increasingly bigger as it is hard to afford housing in State College. The organization “Out Of The Cold” can only house 28 people right now, but they are trying to raise more money so that they can build more room for more people in need. We are helping them by gathering sponsors to sleep outside to help raise money for them.
Our I.D.E.A.S. project evolved into doing a sleep out ourselves to raise awareness and money for them. Our team had trouble trying to figure out what to do and we changed plans based on our research locally. Here is a summary.
I. Identify the Problem: We started by looking at the United Nations Sustainability Goals to find a problem might be a local impact but also have implications elsewhere. We then used the Community Health Needs Assessment for Center County and found that despite the relative wealth of many people and the students, there was a local problem. We decided to deal with “homelessness”.
D. Design a Solution: We started out thinking the best thing to do was to collect warm clothes. We struggled with where to get boxes, where to put them, how to get permission, and how to advertise our efforts. We decided to talk with the leadership of Out of the Cold, and quickly learned they did not need nor could they handle more things donated. What they really needed was cash to help them fund an expansion with more beds. We therefore modified our design to become part of their program and do a sleep out fundraising effort.
E. Execute and Engage: We used Canva to make a poster and and recruit donors. We got permissions to do a sleep out. We used our camping gear and sleeping bags. It was a cold, wet night. We set an aggressive goal but only raised $255 dollars.
A. Assessment: We changed our plans to comply with the need of our advisors. We overcame some hesitation to know how to do interviews and had a mentor join us to help. We adapted and pulled it off in a short period of time. In retrospect, we could have recruited more people to sleep out and recruit their own donors. We could have been more aggressive with our posters, presentations or social media use to raise funds.
We have concluded it was a success in addressing the social determinant of housing by:
- Raising awareness for the problem
- Raising interest by other students in participating in another sleep out next year
- Raising some funds for the local shelter
- Improving our interview and presentation and project planning skills.
S. Share: We conclude that this type of program done in conjunction with a local successful organization was the best way for us to address this in our community. Starting earlier with two phase of recruitment, one for sleep out volunteers, and then another campaign for donors.
Animals have provided companionship for many a family. Sometimes, pets are abandoned or unable to be cared for. Many shelters euthanize the animals that are not adopted. We felt these also need to enjoy kindness and care and a further chance for adoption.
*Content in this spaces page provided with assistance from mentors.
Demographics Served (copy)
My Healthy IDEAS & STEAM TEAM Information
My Healthy IDEAS Title: Support the Homeless
My Healthy IDEAS Poster Submittal: