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September 20, 2017

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UNLV organizes homelessness awareness events

UNLV is recognizing Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week with several events that will give students a sense of the hardships faced by the homeless community in Southern Nevada.

Dozens of UNLV students will participate in an overnight simulated “Shanty Town” at the north field of the campus, behind the Frank and Estella Beam hall, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday and lasting until 8 a.m. Friday.

During the simulation, students will be served one meal of tomato soup and hot chocolate and breakfast in the morning. At about 8 p.m. on Nov. 18, author Matthew O’Brien will talk to students about his book, “Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas” about homeless communities living in flood prevention tunnels under the Strip.

At about 11:30 p.m., students will participate in a 15-minute exercise where they will role-play a homeless person visiting a social agency like housing services, or the Metro Police department.

UNLV’s Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity and the Rebel Service Council are also hosting a series of events to recognize the Homeless Awareness Week with a substance abuse and homelessness forum and a campus food, clothing and toiletry drive, which will benefit Street Teens, Help of Southern Nevada and Lutheran Social Services.

Participating students living on campus can also forego a meal and put their credit this Friday to make sandwiches for the homeless that will be delivered to the Salvation Army Day Center.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week recognizes the week before Thanksgiving. Homelessness statistics vary, but it is estimated that more than 13,000 people are homeless in Southern Nevada, with the Clark County School District reporting more than 3,000 homeless children enrolled in local schools, according to a press release from the university.

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