The essence of advocacy is to lend a voice to someone or a group that cannot speaker for them. Students in the Business Administration program at Globe University-Madison West decided to lend support to the homeless of Madison, specifically by working with State Street Families.
State Street Families, a grassroots outreach charity, sets out to provide essential items to the homeless population in Madison. Essential items like food, personal hygiene products and sleeping bags are collected and distributed by State Street Family volunteers to the Madison homeless population.
Tami Miller, founder of State Street Families visited the Business Law class to present information on her organization and to share her thoughts as to what the class could provide. During her talk, students watched a video which provided them with an up close and personal look at the day in the life of the Madison homeless. It was in this video that the idea of providing a resource card to the homeless, and in particular, to the newly homeless, emerged. This information card, informally called “The Companion” will help the homeless with contact information on where to go for shelter, food, medicine, counseling and emergencies.
Students in the Business Administration program invited homeless men to Globe University-Madison West and interviewed them about their lives on the street and how their lives could be made better. This exercise validated the class’s choice of assembling “The Companion”. Those interviewed agreed that it would have been invaluable for them when they first hit the streets.
From this point on the class researched several sources of contacts and assistance to the homeless. Students tried to find the ones that were consistently providing the best services and that seemed to be dedicated to helping the less fortunate.
“The Companion” is scheduled to be printed and handed off to Tami Miller who through State Street Families will distribute the card to the homeless.
For students, the project has been both educational and an eye opening experience.
Scott Miller, student in the Business Administration program was responsible for introducing the topic of helping the homeless in Madison to his classmates. “As the instigator of this project, I am proud of the deliverable that we created to help the homeless in Madison. My friend, Tami Miller will now be able to help educate current and future homeless citizens with our resource card. These cards will help them find basic needs, such as food, shelter and other resources. This has been a truly remarkable experience.”
Rebecca Carstens, student in the Business Administration program came out of this project more informed. “I learned through this project that homelessness can happen to anyone at any time, so the resource card will come in handy for those who use State Street Families and who need to find food and shelter. This was one of the best feelings I’ve had and feel like they will be better off knowing where to go.”
“Homeless communities are an unfortunate part of our society. The opinion I held of this community was highly prejudiced and I didn’t even know it. After this project, I feel that the homeless are as much of a victim of our society change and are held shackled to their past wrong doings. I believe this project is going to make an impact and for that I’m proud of our efforts.” Christopher Hooper, student in the Business Administration program .
For more information about State Street Families and how you can help, log onto their Facebook page.