Shantytown is an educational program where students are encouraged to sleep outside overnight at their school to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness. Shantytown Planning Guide 2016, most shantytowns bring in a formerly homeless speaker, as well as several different educational activities so students can begin to understand modern day homelessness as it exists in Cincinnati. (Shantytown is not designed to be a simulation of homelessness but rather a shocking form of action that is designed to get students asking questions about homelessness and teaching others.)
How do I host a Shantytown at my school?
Step 1: Get permission: Talk to school administrators and get permission to host the event as early as possible.
Step 2: Find chaperons and/or recruit student leaders: to plan and chaperon the event
Step 3: Select dates: we encourage schools to select a date in October, which is Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month, but we are available for Speakers, Tours, Streetvibes Shadow Activities, and other Activity Facilitation throughout the year.
Step 4: Determine participants: This may be based on a number of factors including age, grade, and population of the student body. Some schools may want to limit participants to only seniors or only juniors and seniors, others may want to include the entire student body. Whatever the case may be, this needs to be determined early on. Consider sending out permission slips and applications for students to participate (templates for these are available in the Shantytown Planning Guide).
Step 5: Register your school by filling out the online registration form here: https://cincihomeless.org/please-register-your-education-event-here/
Step 6: After you register on-line you will be sent a confirmation email to confirm the date, time, and speaker request.
Please use the updated City-Wide Shantytown/Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month Guide here: Shantytown Planning Guide 2016.
Alternatives to hosting a Shantytown at your school include:
- Voice of the Homeless Speaker’s Bureau (we will bring a great speaker to your school, church, or community organization. Typically lasts 1 – 1.5 hours. Cost $80.)
- Streetvibes Shadow Activity (students travel to our office in Over-the-Rhine, meet and learn from a Distributor, and hit the streets to try to distribute papers for a $2 donation. Great real-world experience. Typically lasts 1-1.5 hours. Cost $50.)
- Social Justice Walking Tour (students travel to our office in Over-the-Rhine, take a 1 hour walking tour while learning about the history of social service agencies and the current conditions that affect their operations. Cost $50).
Contact Mark Mussman, Director of Education with any questions: MarkMussman@cincihomeless.org.