The forecast for Monday night is 44 degrees, but Oakton Community College students will be sleeping outdoors in boxes and other makeshift 'shanties' as they participate in 'Shantytown,' an event to raise awareness of the 14,000 people who are homeless in Illinois on any given night. It will take place at the Skokie campus this year.
Earlier: Photos of the students in shanties at last year's event
What: Every night in Illinois, an estimated 14,000 people experience homelessness. To raise awareness about the plight of the homeless, Oakton Community College’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter is sponsoring an overnight “Shantytown.” More than 20 student clubs or individuals will build and spend the night in “shanties” (temporary outdoor shelters), outside of the College’s main entrance at the Skokie campus, 7701 North Lincoln Avenue.
When: Saturday, Friday, October 5 – Friday, October, 11
- This year, shanties will be on display October 5 – 11.
- Students will spend the night in the shanties between 6 p.m., October 7 – 7 a.m., October 8. This coincides with World Habitat Day, observed annually worldwide on the first Monday of October. The day is meant to be a time to reflect on the human right for adequate shelter.
- Shanties will be constructed from discarded material at Oakton’s Skokie campus.
- ·Each group will spend the night in its shanty.
- Visitors can “vote” for their favorite shanty by placing donations in paint cans outside the shanties between 6 and 9 p.m. on October 7. Money raised will benefit Habitat for Humanity.
- The College’s Habitat Chapter is also sponsoring a presentation and panel discussion about homelessness from 6:30 – 8 p.m., Monday, October 7 (Rooms A145-152) at the Skokie campus led by Chicago author Karen Skalitzky. She will be discussing her book A Recipe for Hope: Stories of Transformation by People Struggling with Homelessness, which challenges modern preconceptions about the destitute people who are without permanent shelter and how this problem affects everyone regardless of race, color, creed, or economic status. The panel will consist of individuals featured in her book. Copies of her book will be available for $10 with proceeds benefiting the homeless.