Lifelong learning encouraged through hunger & homelessness events


“Realizing that someone with a Master’s degree could be struggling with homelessness and poverty was eye-opening,” said Noelle Johnson, junior from Danville, KY, after participating in a 36 hour homeless simulation in Georgetown, KY. Johnson and seven other Western Kentucky University learned much about hunger and homelessness during that weekend, and the awareness continues to spread as the WKU ALIVE Center coordinates efforts to promote Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week this November 13-19th.   

The students participating in the homeless simulation gained valuable life lessons, and some of them will share their story as part of The Human Experience program discussion on Thursday, November 17th. The program is one of several events during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week that will educate campus and community members while also encourage them to reflect and serve. Learning Locally to Affect Globally is the idea. 

“Homelessness is not a social disease restricted to certain educational and economic classes. It has the ability to affect all Americans equally and without impunity.” said Jeremy M. Thompson, a formally homeless WKU alumnus.

Thompson will share his story as well during The Human Experience program that will be led by Assistant Professor Courte Voorhees in Interdisciplinary Studies and the Institute for Citizenship & Social Responsibility. Voorhees brings a background as a researcher, instructor, and evaluator that has worked on issues of homelessness as well as environmental justice, environmental sustainability, and community response to natural disasters. 

The ALIVE Center will partner with ICSR for an event related to hunger titled World Hunger Banquet® on the day before The Human Experience program. The World Hunger Banquet is open to the general public, and individuals participating should attend with the mindset of learning about poverty issues and partaking of meals in a way that is representative of the area of the world in which they will be randomly assigned.

“The World Hunger Banquet provides insight into the daily eating habits of persons around the globe.  Participants will be introduced to global hunger in a unique and educational way,” said ICSR Program Coordinator who coordinated a similar World Hunger Banquet during a homeless simulation.

Other programs and projects during the week include an awareness fair, forum on homelessness, food drive, and challenge to donate rice to other countries through For a full listing of activities for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, visit Feel free to call the Center at 270-782-0082 if you have any questions about the week. The ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships supports community development locally and abroad through campus and community partnerships. The ALIVE CCP connects students, faculty, staff, and community members to resources and opportunities for meaningful service and engaged scholarship.


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