"Fight the Night" Program is call to action to fight homelessness

"Fight the Night" Program is call to action to fight homelessness
On Saturday, November 12, Oakland University students will sleep outdoors in homemade cardboard box shelters to raise awareness for the plight of the area’s homeless. (2015 event photo courtesy of Jim West)

On Saturday, November 12, Oakland University students will sleep outdoors in homemade cardboard box shelters to raise awareness for the plight of the area’s homeless and raise money for the Baldwin Center in Pontiac. This year’s event will focus particularly on families affected by homelessness.

The event called "Fight the Night", now in its second year, was created by School of Health Sciences instructor Charlie Rinehart and his Wellness, Health Promotion, and Injury Prevention WHP 380 class, along with the WHP Student Society. More information is available on their Facebook page.

“My students have been working on this project all semester,” Rinehart said. “After last year’s successful inaugural event, we knew we wanted to do it again. The Baldwin Center has been a great partner and we want to help them bring much-needed attention to the struggles which homeless individuals, homeless families and homeless veterans experience-especially in the winter months.”

Participants will arrive at 6 p.m. in parking lot 2 at OU to begin creating their personal shelters. Guests are welcome to arrive at 7 p.m. Programming is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. Programming, food and speakers will go through 11:30 p.m. and then quiet time to follows until 5:30 a.m.

Quiet time is meant for reflection on the reality that many people face on a regular basis. Participants will be given the chance at the end of quiet time to offer up feelings of discomfort or pain and express feelings about the experience.

“After volunteering at a soup kitchen in Detroit, I have seen homelessness close up,” said senior Anthony Davey and a student leader of Fight the Night. “We are hoping this year’s event will create a new sense of empathy for participants who might not understand just how difficult it is to be homeless.”

The event is scheduled to coincide with the designated National Hunger & Homeless Awareness week.

Download a Fight the Night flyer.