Monday, June 17, 2024

MSU RSO Homeless Humanity seeks to bring awareness, aid to Lansing’s homeless population

March 25, 2024
<p>Volunteers for the student organization Homeless Humanity help volunteers from Homeless Angels distribute food to those who need them in downtown Lansing on March 24, 2024.</p>

Volunteers for the student organization Homeless Humanity help volunteers from Homeless Angels distribute food to those who need them in downtown Lansing on March 24, 2024.

When human biology junior Chloe Lohman and her roommates moved into a new apartment during the start of the fall semester, they noticed that people would rummage through the trash cans outside their building regularly. 

"From my room I can see the dumpsters, and every day, three times a day, there are people going through the dumpsters because that’s how they get their food and that’s how they live," Lohman said. "It was so hard to watch, heartbreaking, so it just got us thinking, how can we help them?"

In response, they embarked on organizing a registered student organization that could help provide for the homeless community of East Lansing and Greater Lansing area. By the beginning of the spring semester, they had started Homeless Humanity.

"There’s a large homeless population in our area and it’s not really something that’s talked about enough and so we decided to start this club," Lohman, who is now Co-President of the club alongside human biology junior Shraddha Gatla, said. 

homelesshumanity-32424-ds05

Right now, the club holds monthly meetings, monthly donation days and fundraises when and where they can. 

On Jan. 28 of 2024, they held their first donation day in collaboration with local homeless shelter Homeless Angels. Every Sunday the shelter drives a food truck to parks and provides free food, so Homeless Humanity set up a table with donations for people to have as well. 

Lohman said this was a great way for them to not only help, but also hear from the people they were helping.

"It was a way for us as a club to actively involve ourselves, talk with them, hear their stories, hear their names – break down these barriers," she said. 

homelesshumanity-32424-ds04

Getting this perspective was eye opening for Lohman and other club members, she said, and a perspective everyone should experience at least once. 

"I feel like a lot of people have stereotypical views of people experiencing homelessness," Lohman said. "But from what I’ve seen, these are just people having a hard time in their life at this moment and they are all so nice."

While the club hopes to see more turnout as the year goes on, the current involvement from members has also been inspiring for Lohman. Their first meeting had 30 attendees, and the the first donation day drew in many people.

homelesshumanity-32424-ds07

"You don’t have to give a bunch of stuff to be a part of this movement and this change," Lohman said. "Just being there, just writing a note goes a long way."

In the future, they hope to do even more fundraising as well as host their own event, separate from Homeless Angels. For now, the monthly donation days are their goal, Lohman said. She added that people can participate in donation days without coming to meetings and vice versa.

"A little goes a long way, and it’s really cool to actively see the impact that you can have on our community," Lohman said.

homelesshumanity-32424-ds06

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

Discussion

Share and discuss “MSU RSO Homeless Humanity seeks to bring awareness, aid to Lansing’s homeless population” on social media.