SSWO-Fargo fights hunger and homelessness statewide
Last March, MSU social work students started a branch of the Student Social Work Organization in Fargo. SSWO-Fargo members are students enrolled in a dual degree program between MSUís social work program and North Dakota State Universityís human development family science program. Although in its infancy, the student organization immediately began calling attention to issues.
Throughout early November, SSWO-Fargo collected money, groceries and supplies for the Minot Area Homeless Coalition. It collected more than $600 plus food and supplies, which will be delivered to Minot for the Minot Area Homeless Coalition during the semester break.
To fundraise and bring awareness of hunger and homelessness in North Dakota, SSWO-Fargo collaborated with the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Persons during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, Nov. 10-18.
"Typically, homelessness is only thought of in terms of financial resources, but there are many factors that lead to homelessness. Loss of employment, long-term illness, substance abuse, divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, institutional release and other factors create situations when people cannot afford to pay rent or house payments," said Deb Dewitz, SSWO-Fargo advisor.
Nov. 13, members coordinated Miss-a-Meal, an evening event with Bingo, raffle prizes and a guest speaker from the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People. Students went without eating from lunch on Nov. 13 until breakfast on Nov. 14 to experience missing just one meal.
Nov. 15 was One Day Without a Home. Participants stood in the cold and "froze" to experience homelessness firsthand for 24 hours, on the corner of 12th Avenue N. and University in
Fargo; community members dropped off food or monetary contributions.
From its National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week community-service projects, SSWO-Fargo also collected over $1,000 for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Homeless Coalition and more than 700 pounds of food for the Great Plains Food Bank. The Great Plains Food Bank combats hunger across the state.
Earlier this semester, SSWO-Fargo participated in Fargoís Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and "Take Back the Night" event, a sexual assault prevention program.
For questions, contact Dewitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.