Today: Mar 01, 2024

Club to host drive for homeless

Sean Meenaghan | Photo Editor
Sean Meenaghan | Photo Editor

ELIZABETH DISHIAN Staff Writer

Essential, inexpensive, and a basic human need—toiletries are items that every single person should have, said Peter Robb, senior and resident of North Campus.

“It is so easy to pick up a few things from the dollar store,” Jon Ruiz said, senior and psychology major with a concentration in mental health. “And [they] make a difference in somebody’s life.”

This semester the Psychology Club, Psi Chi, SCSU Service Team and SCSU Cheer are hosting a Toiletries Drive. These clubs and organizations are collecting items to give to the Fellowship Place, which helps people from New Haven with mental illnesses and homelessness issues, according to the SCSU service website.

“The things we collect will go out to the community to the homeless people living on the streets or in tents,” Lauren Bryant said, president of the Psychology Club. “They can clean themselves up enough to get enough dignity back so that they can go to the Fellowship Place or another facility to get mental health services that they need.”

The Psychology Club wanted to do the toiletries drive because they wanted to do something that was relevant to their club and the community’s needs, according to Bryant.

“The Fellowship Place was appropriate because mental health issues and it’s so close to the area,” she said. “We thought it was very relevant because the members thought it was a good opportunity to learn about mental illnesses and the implications on homelessness.”

With so many active members this year in the Psychology Club that have a strong interest in mental health issues and giving back to the community around them, the toiletries drive was the perfect program for them to host, Bryant said.

“We wanted to really give them the opportunity to combine both of those things that they wanted,” she said. “So we really wanted to do that for them and the community.”

Boxes have been placed all over campus to collect for the drive, Ruiz said, including the psychology lounge, the honors lounge, and Student Life.

“I don’t think there is ever going to be enough concerning the severity of the problem,” Bryant said, “but compared to what I had initially been expecting with starting the toiletries drive, it’s been great. With student involvement from other clubs that volunteered to join our efforts, I think we’re going to get a pretty good amount of toiletries and far better than what we had expected prior to the last week or so.”

The number of people that go to the Fellowship Place varies depending on the week or month, but there are a big number of homeless people around Southern’s campus that need help, according to Bryant.

“People don’t understand that becoming homeless can happen to a regular person by a poor string of events,” Robb said, “and that we as a student body should reach out to help with the bad fortune of others.”

Bryant claims that students sometimes think they live in a little bubble, they don’t see homelessness as an issue until they they step outside of campus.

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