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Shack City to raise funds for homeless

Emma Driscoll | Friday, April 11, 2008

In an attempt to emulate the real-life situation of homelessness, students will forgo the comfort of their dorm rooms or off-campus residences Friday night, rain or shine.

Through Habitat for Humanity’s Shack City event, the Notre Dame community plans to raise awareness and funds to combat homelessness.

Participants will construct homes out of cardboard boxes and spend the night on South Quad.

Habitat for Humanity education and outreach board member Jaime Amrhein said the event has a twofold purpose.

The first, Amrhein said, is to raise awareness of the conditions in which many homeless people are forced to live, and the second is to raise funds for the organization.

Funds raised from the event will help “to combat the homelessness that we are trying to raise awareness about,” Amrhein said.

Proceeds from Shack City will help Habitat for Humanity to finish building the house that the organization has been working on in South Bend since October – the 14th house that the organization has built in South Bend, Amrhein said.

Steve Camilleri, executive director of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, will speak at the event, Amrhein said.

DJs from WVFI and three performers from Acoustic Café will be playing music on the quad.

In past Shack City events, Amrhein said there was a “community atmosphere,” with many people playing football and Frisbee on the quad

Shack City’s South Quad location enables Habitat for Humanity to spread its message to a large number of people on campus.

“The reason we hold it on South Quad is because it is probably the most visible place on campus,” Amrhein said.

She said students passing by the quad often stop to ask about the event, and such a “visible image” is way to generate awareness about the problem of homelessness.

“That’s how we try to reach out to those who aren’t participating,” Amrhein said.

In keeping with Shack City’s mission to raise awareness about the situation of the homeless, the event will take place under any weather circumstances.

“We’ll be having Shack City no matter what the weather is. Homeless people don’t get to choose where they live, neither do we for this night,” Amrhein said.

Interested students can register for Shack City online at www.nd.edu/~habitat or can register at the event beginning tonight at 7:00. Participants who make or exceed the $15 suggested donation receive a t-shirt, Amrhein said.