The Homelessness at Home program has been a component of the ucalgarycares Reading week program in partnership with the Mustard Seed since 2010. Each year the program has provided students the opportunity to learn about homelessness in Calgary through volunteering and experiential learning opportunities such as ‘a day in the life’ and ‘night tours’.
Homelessness and mental health have been the primary focus of the Homelessness at Home program. This will facilitate connections between ucalgarycares and the 2012-2013 Common Read program.
While once targeted to first years, Homelessness at home has grown to include 20-25 student from all years and disciplines of study during February Reading Week. This program introduced students to service-learning; students spend 4 days downtown working with the Mustard Seed shelter. In addition to volunteer projects, participants hear from guest speakers and learn about poverty and homelessness from members of our community.
See blog posts from the 2013 program.
“The experience was incredible and one of a kind. Not only did we learn valuable lessons that we may not have found elsewhere, it was rewarding, relationship building, challenging, and I feel we completed the program having learned about ourselves, our city, our society, and greater depth into a community most people had never been a part of, and therefore previously knew little about.” –2012 Participant
“I had a blast and saw my city in a new light.” — 2012 Participant