UMW Community Raises More Than $3,500 for Local Homeless Families

The University of Mary Washington community has raised more than $3,500 to help provide permanent housing for local homeless families. UMW’s efforts, spearheaded by Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Leslie Martin, are part of a statewide initiative to get 740 Virginia families housed in 100 days.

Professor Leslie Martin reached out to UMW faculty, staff and students to donate to the “Home for the Holidays” campaign of the Central Virginia Housing Coalition.

Professor Leslie Martin reached out to UMW faculty, staff and students to donate to the “Home for the Holidays” campaign of the Central Virginia Housing Coalition.

UMW’s donations go through the “Home for the Holidays” campaign of the Central Virginia Housing Coalition, the Fredericksburg region’s answer to the state initiative. It aims to place 35 area families in permanent housing, just in time for the holiday season.

For each $3,500 raised, CVHC covers a first month’s rent, a security deposit and utilities deposits for one area family. The agencies working with the homeless, including the Thurman Brisben Center and Hope House, will then provide services aimed at keeping the families in the homes long-term.

“I am constantly struck by how giving and concerned all of the members of our UMW community are,” said Martin, who researches the rhetoric of homeless service providers and serves on affordable housing and homelessness task forces.

When senior sociology major Kimmy Slater heard about the initiative, it reminded her of the residents at the Thurman Brisben Center, where she has been a volunteer for the past two years. With the help of fellow students, Slater decided to ask students to donate to the campaign.

“Homelessness has always been near and dear to my heart ever since [I took Professor Martin’s] freshman seminar on homelessness and housing,” Slater said.

Students have raised more than $300 through solicitations in residence halls and at the annual Thanksgiving dinner in Seacobeck Hall. Slater hopes the students can contribute at least $500 by the end of the semester.

To make an online donation, visit http://www.centralvahousing.org/. UMW students, faculty and staff can drop off checks, made payable to Central Virginia Housing Coalition, or cash to Leslie Martin’s office in Monroe Hall.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.

Comments

  1. Louisa G. Bridges says:

    Dr. Martin really opened my eyes through her class lectures, the amount of people who are homeless in our nation. I did not know the volume of need in our community, as well. I am grateful for her command of the facts, and required readings that made me painfully aware of those who exist in our state that are homeless. What a stellar idea to help these folks,especially at the holidays. We all should follow her shining example to do what we can to help those who are less fortunate than we are. Thank you Dr. Martin, you are a favorite professor of mine. You caring attitude shines a bright light on our UMW campus.