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Volume 72, Issue 63, Thursdsay, November 16, 2006


Students 'sleep out' for homeless

Organization's one-night event will raise money for local needy

The Daily Cougar

The American Medical Student Association Premedical Chapter at UH will host its first homeless sleep-out to increase awareness and aid its ongoing donation drive at 8 p.m. tonight in front of M.D. Anderson Library.

"You might think everyone has a roof overhead, clothes on their back and food in their stomach. Reality shows us that this is not the case," said Mindy Le, a biochemistry freshman and the marketing director of AMSA Pre-med at UH.

The sleep-out, titled "One Night Without a Home," will last until 6 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a sleeping bag, tent, light snacks and other essential items. Security and rest room access will be provided.

Le said the sleep-out gives participants the chance to step into the shoes of a homeless person and experience their life for one night.

"Basically, the sleep-out represents a symbol of individuals that are financially limited in necessities and therefore resort to the streets as their haven," Le said.

On any given night, more than 10,000 people are living on the street or accessing shelters and similar services, according to the City of Houston 2006 Homeless Count.

"At the event, (AMSA Pre-med) will have different activities that will demonstrate the things that homeless individuals have to go through on a daily basis," Le said.

Funds received from AMSA Pre-med's donation drive will allow Houston's homeless in downtown to receive medical and dental care at the SEARCH clinic. Items that may be donated to the drive include packaged hygiene kits, storable packaged foods, foot care products, bandanas and undergarments.

Donations can be dropped into red boxes located in the Fleming Building, Science Building, University Center, Philip Gutherie Hoffman Hall, Science and Research Buildings 1 and 2, the University Center Satellite, The Honors College, the Social Work Building and Quadrangle cafeterias until Nov. 30.

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