Five Days for the Homeless a huge success

By Dale Johnson Posted: March 24, 2017 3:30 p.m.

The record-setting U of R team for Five Days For the Homeless - (l-r) Paige McNabb, Siobhan Neary, Joshua Exner, Sasha Shupe, and Rebecca Perigny - proudly show off the cheque for $51,353.27 they raised for Carmichael Outreach.
The record-setting U of R team for Five Days For the Homeless - (l-r) Paige McNabb, Siobhan Neary, Joshua Exner, Sasha Shupe, and Rebecca Perigny - proudly show off the cheque for $51,353.27 they raised for Carmichael Outreach. Photo: External Relations

Five U of R students have just finished spending five nights camped outside at the entrance of the Riddell Centre to raise awareness of homelessness; they also raised $51,353.27 for Carmichael Outreach, a Regina-based charity that provides a variety of services for the needy.

That far surpasses last year’s total raised of $37,000 – which was the highest total of campaigns at 19 universities across Canada.

Other students took part by collecting donations in the Riddell Centre, as well as organizing a number of events in the community, including a burger night fundraiser and a donation day on the Scarth Street Mall.

As well as raising money, Five Days for the Homeless gives students a better understanding of what it might be like to be homeless. They attend classes as usual, but depend on donations of food from strangers, and at night they camp out in sleeping bags outside the main entrance to the Riddell Centre

The students learned a few things about themselves after this one-week glimpse of homelessness.

“We had a lot of coffee and donuts, so we were missing out on nutritious, healthy meals. There were some days we didn’t get a lot of food, so we would just wait it out,” says Paige McNabb of the faculty of education. “For some people, they don’t know when their next meal is coming.”

“It’s physically and mentally draining not knowing how cold it’s going to get outside and night, and not knowing when we’re going to eat next,” says Shioban Neary of the faculty of social work. “This week has definitely has opened my eyes.”

Also taking part Five Days for the Homeless this year were Joshua Exner from the faculty of science, Rebecca Perigny from the faculty of business administration and Sasha Shupe from the faculty of arts.