Phi Beta Sigmas sleep out in aid of homeless

” The Iota Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma will be holding their Sleep Out for the Homeless event Thursday, April 9. The event, which was created to help members of the fraternity empathize with the homeless, was started by a chapter of Phi Beta Sigma in Michigan 20 years ago.”

The Iota Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma will be holding their Sleep Out for the Homeless event Thursday, April 9.

The event, which was created to help members of the fraternity empathize with the homeless, was started by a chapter of Phi Beta Sigma in Michigan 20 years ago.

During Sleep Out for the Homeless, fraternity members sleep outside for one night in an attempt to empathize with the homeless and put themselves in their shoes.

Other students are able to contribute as well. Students are encouraged to donate clothes and non-perishable food items to the homeless by bringing them to the second floor of the Student Union Monday, April 6 through Thursday, April 9.

All donations will be given to the Haven of Rest.

The Haven of Rest in Akron provided 64,120 nights of lodging in 2009. Although this is down seven percent from the 68,848 nights of lodging provided in 2005, there is no way to prove that this means less people are in need of shelter.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness and the Homelessness Research Institute pointed out that it is difficult to get a good count since many homeless people don’t want to be found.

Phi Beta Sigma will sleep outside behind the Student Union in the Buchtel Commons Wednesday night.

Prepared to experience spending one night outside without a bed, the fraternity will arrive at the Buchtel Commons at 5 p.m. and will stay until 8 a.m. Friday morning.

The temperature is supposed to hover just above freezing Thursday night. It is clear that the fraternity is serious about the event and is not backing down no matter what the weather is like.

If it does rain or snow, we will have just have to fight it out, said Chapter President Justin Willis.

The men will attempt to keep themselves busy throughout the evening and early night with various games and activities.

The fraternity is hoping that they will draw a lot of positive attention by sleeping outside for a night.

Not only will they be able to get an idea of what it is like to sleep outside without a comfortable and reliable bed, they will also able to bring the attention of others in the community to the cause.

We hope to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless to the community, said Willis.

Many other organizations hold similar events throughout the year. The city of Bath held a Sleep Out in February of this year.

Owens Community College students in Perrysburg Township held their own Sleep Out for the Homeless last week.

This is the first time the Iota Beta Chapter has participated in Sleep Out for the Homeless on the University of Akron’s campus.

Willis hopes to gain a better understanding of the homeless by participating.

We just want them to know that there are people out there who care, he said.