March 11, 2018 8:28 pm
Updated: March 11, 2018 8:58 pm

U of S students experience homelessness to raise funds for youth centre

WATCH ABOVE: The campaign, now in its tenth year at U of S, is hoping to raise $20,000 for the EGADZ youth centre.

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This week, five University of Saskatchewan (U of S) students will be living homeless on campus, as part of the Five Days for the Homeless national campaign.

Other than a tarp and some sleeping bags, they will have no disposable income or phone, no access to a shower and no place to call home.

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“We were all joking about the things we did to prepare for this,” campaign participant Autumn LaRose-Smith said. “I made sure that I had an extra-long shower, and I brushed my teeth and I was able to borrow all my friends’ really warm clothes.”

“The fact I have the privilege to do that is something I’m not going to take for granted anymore,” LaRose-Smith said.

The campaign, now in its 10th year at the U of S, is hoping to raise $20,000.

All the funds go towards EGADZ, Saskatoon’s downtown youth centre.

LaRose-Smith said they got a chance to tour the drop-in centre and learn about the programming offered.

“When people think of homeless people, they think of an old man sleeping outside — and that’s it. There’s so many other strands of that. We overlook the fact there are homeless youth as well,” LaRose-Smith said.

Throughout the week, the participants will be accepting donations in addition to a variety of other fundraising activities on campus, including food sales and an improv night.

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Although the campaign has just started, participant Baxter Kawula said he’s learning more about what defines homelessness.

“It’s also the person who’s living in their car, who doesn’t have a safe place to call home, who’s maybe a youth, an adult, a teen mom,” Kawula said.

“It’s a lot wider encompassing than just what you see in the movies.”

The campaign runs from 5 p.m. CT Sunday until 5 p.m. on March 16.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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