Shanty Town Raised More than Just Awareness for The Homeless

Practically everyone knows what goes on during Shanty Town, people sleep in boxes outside the school to raise awareness about homeless people, but not everyone knows what it really supports. Shanty town helps spread the word about homeless people and show that not all of the victims of homelessness suffer from drug abuse. Many of the victims suffer from broken homes and mental illness. According to a study done through PBS, approximately 39 percent of the homeless suffer from mental illness and 20-25 percent reach the level of serious mental illness. This dispels the stereotypes that all homeless people are alcoholics or drug addicts. What people think about when homelessness is brought up is people living in boxes or on the streets, when really being homeless could be skipping from house to house, or shelter from shelter just looking for a place to stay. The goal of shanty town isn’t to act homeless, but to just show what the homeless have to go through on a daily basis and that it is rough out there for them. Elder had a great turnout for its shanty town this year with 22 people showing up to brave the cold conditions that Mother Nature had wrought. The make shift homes of the participants this year were of all shapes and sizes. All the boxes on the front lawn at Elder was quite a sight. Senior Joe Pieper was one of the participants and said, “I initially showed up because I thought it’d be all fun and games, but it turned out to be a moving experience too”. During the school day after Shanty town a can was passed around classes to raise money for the homeless and help them with their struggles. Elder successfully raised a substantial amount of money for the cause. So Shanty town did more than bring awareness for the homeless, it raised money and dispelled stereotypes as well.