Inside Rensselaer
* Fraternity Members Host Annual “Sleep Out for the Homeless”
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Fraternity Members Host Annual “Sleep Out for the Homeless”
In an effort to raise funds and awareness for homeless individuals in the Troy community, five Rensselaer fraternity members left the comfort and warmth of their dorms to participate in the annual “Sleep Out for the Homeless” fundraiser sponsored by members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. From March 30 to April 2, the Rensselaer Union front lawn served as the students’ temporary shelter.

The students slept on cardboard and lived in a makeshift shelter using materials that were donated by various individuals. Throughout the 77-hour event, the students could only accept offers of food, beverages, and other items from members of the Rensselaer campus and local community. The students attended all their classes, but they could not return to their dorm rooms until the end of the event.

“As members of Alpha Phi Alpha, we pride ourselves on being
first of all, servants of all, and being able to transcend all.
This is our way of giving back to the community.”

“This annual event grew out of a need to relate to the struggles that many homeless people have to deal with related to lack of shelter, or little or no food,” said Lamarr Shand, president for the fraternity. “On any given day, such individuals have to find a way to survive. As members of Alpha Phi Alpha, we pride ourselves on being first of all, servants of all, and being able to transcend all. This is our way of giving back to the community.”

For more than 11 years, the fraternity members have hosted the annual event with some of the proceeds going to Joseph’s House and Shelter in downtown Troy. Joseph’s House takes in more than 1,000 homeless adults and families with children, according to the organization’s community liaison. Joseph’s House provides individuals with meals, medical care, access to personal items, laundry facilities, and other resources. In addition, advocates work with guests to identify housing and services based on their goals.

This year, the fraternity also plans to donate funds to a local family, which includes two Rensselaer employees, who lost their home in a recent fire. So far, the fraternity has raised more than $900 (and counting).

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Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 7, April 18, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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