Students to Spend Five Days Homeless

March 09, 2012 - Campus Bulletin

Forgoing access to proper shelter, showers and other resources, five University of Guelph students will spend March 11 to 16 on campus experiencing homelessness.

Their effort is part of “5 Days for the Homeless,” an annual Canada-wide initiative to raise money and promote awareness of homelessness. More than 20 universities will take part. Since 2008, the campaign has raised more than $750,000 for charitable organizations.

The students from U of G’s College of Management and Economics (CME) hope to raise $7,500 toward a national goal of $220,000. Guelph campaign proceeds will go to Wyndham House, a local organization that provides co-operative housing for youths. Last year, Guelph students raised more than $5,000.

During their five-day campaign, the students will sleep outdoors on Branion Plaza and rely on donated meals. They must remain on campus all week, go to classes, and attend jobs and extracurricular activities.

Donors may provide food and cash at the cannon in Branion Plaza or pledge online at

The Guelph campaign is organized by the CME Students’ Association, which represents more than 2,600 business students at U of G.

“I want to help raise awareness of homelessness in general and, more specifically, youth poverty in Guelph,” said participant Jena Mesih.

“This project allows privileged University students to experience some of the struggles poverty-stricken individuals face every day. Although this does not give students a complete, accurate depiction of homelessness, this project does in fact raise awareness of the ongoing problem.”

She will be joined by CME students Chloe Blais, Krystal Carrey, Hannah McClenaghan and Andrew Wright.

The students created a website where they discuss why they are taking part and what they expect to miss most during their five-day stint. They will also be sharing their experiences through a blog that will be available online at

U of G president Alastair Summerlee, Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge and acting CME dean Sylvain Charlebois will attend a wrap-up event March 16, 6:30 p.m., at P.J.’s.

More information is available online.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1