Phi Beta Sigma will experience what it feels like to be homeless Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning. Well not exactly, but that’s the idea behind the Sleepout for the Homeless event.
The fraternity plans to spend the night outside in order to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness faced in the U.S.
The event, being held in the courtyard between Wallis Hall and Lynch Hall, also collects clothes, canned good and other perishable items which will be donated to the Charlotte Men’s Shelter.
The event started over twenty years ago and has grown into a national program for the fraternity. “From my understanding in the late 1980s some brothers from the chapter and North Carolina A&T decided to stay all night in January, just to see what homeless people go through to an extent,” said Kamal Shaw of Phi Beta Sigma.
The sleepout has seen increased support in recent years, and received the philanthropy of the year award from the Greek Life office on campus.
“Last year we received four car loads full of clothes, canned goods and other perishable items. Years before we had decent results, but last year was the best I have seen in three years” said Shaw.
Members of Rho Gamma Chapter, as well as chapters from Johnson C. Smith and surrounding areas will fair a night in the harsh winter weather to get a glimpse at what a homeless person goes through on a daily basis.
The National Weather Service estimates that temperatures will drop to 42 degrees with a 30 percent chance of rain Friday night.
“I encourage everybody to come out, support and donate to the event. It’s a real humbling experience,” said Shaw.