A panel discussing homelessness and housing insecurity will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Dogwood Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.
Daniella Feijoo, graduate advisor for Community Engagement within the Student Involvement and Leadership Center at IU, said the panel will be made up of community and student leaders. She said she hopes the event will shed light on issues within the Bloomington community.
“The plan for the event is essentially to really highlight some of the local issues in the community related to homelessness and housing insecurity,” Feijoo said.
Feijoo said she hopes to illuminate local issues with homelessness and housing insecurity, but also that the event inspires students and other community members to get involved in advocacy and volunteering. With winter approaching and the pandemic still going on, the community needs help more than ever, she said.
“Not only becoming more educated on this issue but figuring out ways we can work together as a campus and local community to help support these organizations that are doing really amazing work,” Feijoo said.
Community Engagement assistant director Brandon Shurr said he has been a member of the community for around 10 years and is familiar with the different people that make up the Bloomington population. So, he is helping Feijoo find the right connections and organizations for the panel, he said.
Shurr said he hopes attendees will be educated on this topic after the panel, because this issue is prevalent in the community.
“I hope that students, staff and faculty members are interested in learning more about homelessness,” Shurr said. “Hopefully, students and IU community members come out so that they can learn more about this topic that’s happening right in their neighborhood and in their community.”
Diversity Education graduate supervisor Kenneth Brown Jr.said his job as moderator is to set the scene and give the panelists the space to share their experiences and findings regarding these issues.
He said community involvement is of utmost importance and can lead to a solution.
“I hope that those who show up just learn more about ways that they can get involved,” Brown Jr. said. “Whether it’s through volunteering or advocacy, spreading awareness, any ways that we can play a part and be a part of any solution.”
No matter where someone comes from or who they are, Brown Jr. said they deserve a secure life and housing situation. He said the panelists have experience working with these populations and are working to find solutions.
“I hope students, faculty and staff members kind of get more of an understanding of issues around homelessness and housing security in Bloomington,” Brown Jr. said.
This panel is a part of a monthly Community Engagement series run by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
The next event in the series will be Nov. 9 in partnership with IU Student Government and will focus on climate justice. Feijoo said she hopes these events and the series will initiate a solution for these local societal issues.
“Whether it’s an undergraduate student or a graduate student, figuring out ways for them to get involved with these organizations because IU has such a robust service and service learning value system associated with the campus,” Feijoo said. “Figuring out ways to streamline these efforts and highlight the work that’s being done is really at the forefront of what we hope to do with the series.”