By Alexandria Swanger, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Khalil Baker, a senior at Campbellsville University from Campbellsville, has been homeless.
Baker was one of the students and community members participating in Cardboard Nation April 13 as he discussed being homeless with his mother while in high school.
He recounted how a shelter had allowed them to stay despite their policy against sheltering teenage boys. “I was living in an unfamiliar place and surrounded by strangers,” Baker said.
Campbellsville University social work student Christy Ingram, a senior from Harrodsburg, Ky., has never been homeless, but she slept in a box April 13 at the Green River Ministries Homeless Shelter.
“For me the experience was incredible because it is so difficult to comprehend what people go through all around us on a daily basis, and it’s extremely humbling to see and learn about struggles that I had no perspective on. It challenges me to be more conscientious of those around me.”
Cardboard Nation is held annually to raise awareness and bring attention to the homeless population and challenges they face. Participants were served from a food line by volunteers from the homeless shelter.
Following Baker’s testimony, Miranda Willis, executive director of Green River Ministries Homeless Shelter, led an open discussion about the local homeless population.
“On average we have over 150 people on our waiting list annually and only three rooms to offer,” Willis said.
She said they carefully utilize their resources to make sure they serve the needs of those who stay there. Not only does the shelter provide basic necessities, but also a 30-day program centered around helping guests get back on their feet and become self-sustainable.
Following the discussion, participants began constructing boxes, decorating them and preparing to sleep in them for the night. Over 15 people slept in boxes that night in front of the homeless shelter before departing the next morning.
Students expressed their gratitude for the event and everything they learned from the event. If you would like to learn more about the Green River Ministries Homeless shelter, their events or how to help, contact the shelter at (270) 465-9880 or visit greenriverministries.org.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 10,000 students offering over 90 programs of study including 20 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Summersville and Liberty, all in Kentucky, and one in Costa Mesa, Calif., and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.