Mythbuster: Housing for the Homeless?

BY LEXI RODENCAL

 

As we all know, homelessness has been an ever-rising issue in today’s society. To help with the problem, homeless shelters and kitchens have opened up to offer individuals a safe place to sleep and a warm meal at least once a day. However, that is still not enough. After hearing several rumors on campus about St. Norbert College opening up its residence halls to the homeless for the summer, I decided to settle the matter once and for all and interview Kristyn Bochniak, the Senior Director of Residential Education and Housing here at St. Norbert College.

St. Norbert, as we know, is very supportive of its surrounding community and has a strong emphasis on the idea of communio. However, despite the clear eagerness to help, St. Norbert would unfortunately not be able to house the homeless for the summer. Students live in the residence halls while attending their summer classes (“May-mester,” and some classes go on until August). They are also used to house students and parents coming for summer orientation and some are even used to house people that come to the school for weekend conferences. And of course, the famous VMC Hall houses the Green Bay Packers during their summer training camp—a tradition that has been going on since 1958. Because St. Norbert already does so much for the community, no buildings are left unoccupied long enough for the school to consider the possibility of housing the homeless. Secondly, the city of De Pere requires a permit for buildings or organizations that are seeking to create a homeless shelter. The requirements that the city has are so particular that SNC would not be able to meet the specifications to fulfill the requirement.

Even though SNC is not able to offer a living space for the homeless citizens in the area, they still encourage giving back the community. Right now, you can use your extra Meal Dollars to buy nonperishable food or even donate any unwanted furniture, clothing, or hygienic products to the various drop off points (located in the Campus Center and all residence halls). The donations will be given to the church of St. Vincent de Paul and will then be passed on to those in need.

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