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Students to be homeless for a night

March 19, 2014

PAWTUCKET — The 2014 6th Annual Catholic High School Homeless Sleep Out, unfortunately could not be held at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul this year.
Instead, it will be hosted by Saint Raphael Academy tonight. There will be a Diocesan Professional Day the following day—so all Catholic High School students in the Diocese of Providence will not have school. The five schools participating in the Homeless Sleep Out are St. Raphael Academy, Bishop Hendricken, LaSalle Academy, the Prout School, and Bayview Academy.
Two-hundred students are expected at this event.
“The purpose of it is to educate ourselves about the issue of homelessness, to raise awareness about it, to raise funds for homeless programs, and to advocate to public policies about homelessness,” said
Nancy Benoit, the Campus Minister of St. Raphael Academy, who is in charge of hosting the event. “Each school is responsible for one personal care item. We (St. Raphael Academy) do toothpaste and toothbrushes. The other schools do shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, and so on and so forth.”
Mrs. Benoit also remarked that monetary donations from participating students are accepted for the “Keep the Heat On” campaign—a diocesan program to help people who are struggling with their energy bills.
“Throughout the course of the evening, various ice breakers and activities will be played for the students to mingle with each other,” she continued.
“However, no electronics are allowed at this event.” Janice Luongo, the executive director of Mary House, a ministry for the poor at St. Patrick Church in Providence will be a guest speaker at this event. In 1970, she was found by a priest to be sleeping on a park bench.
She made a promise to God that if he saved her, she would spend the rest of her life helping those in need. Now she is returning the favor.
The Homeless Sleep Out starts at 7 p.m. tonight, and ends at 6:30 a.m. on March 21.

Julian Borges is an intern for The Times and The Call. He is a student at St. Raphael Academy.

 

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