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Working to end hunger and homelessness: IUPUI raises awareness with weeklong events

Nov 13, 2019
Person sitting near the street with a sign that reads
In the United States, 43.1 million people live below the poverty level.Photo by Getty Images

In a recent campus survey, 42 percent of IUPUI students reported experiencing some type of housing challenge in the last year.

Nearly one in five first-year students at IUPUI are considered food insecure.

While IUPUI has resources and services that can assist students in combating these needs, it’s important to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness to help end the stigma and stereotyping associated with them, said Erika Thomison, resource coordinator for the Office of Student Advocacy and Support.

“Being part of the conversation and engaging in proactive support is so important in helping us meet the needs of our students,” Thomison said.

You can help just by participating in the events and activities planned for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 18 through 22. All events are free and open to IUPUI students, faculty and staff.

Community Dinner

Tuesday, Nov. 19: 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Campus Center 031.

The dinner, provided by IUPUI Campus Kitchen, will feature a mini poverty simulation with the United Way. Register for this event online.

A student looks at a blue shirt during a Paws' Closet pop-up shop.
Paws’ Closet is an on-campus clothing closet free for students to use with a valid CrimsonCard.Photo by Mary Olk, Indiana University

Paws’ Closet Donation Day

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Noon to 4 p.m. in Campus Center 309.

Donate your gently worn clothes to Paws’ Closet, which is free for students to use with a valid CrimsonCard.

‘Storied Streets’ documentary showing

Wednesday, Nov. 20: 5 to 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Theater.

A discussion panel featuring youth from the Indianapolis area who previously experienced homelessness will follow the film. Popcorn and soft drinks will be provided.

Paws’ Closet Winter Weather Gear Drive

Thursday, Nov. 21: Noon to 6 p.m. in the Campus Center at the Level 1 information tables.

Paws’ Closet is in need of coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and winter boots and shoes.

Stuffed jaguar wearing IUPUI t-shirt sits next to a box of Cheerios on a shelf in Paws' Pantry.
Paws’ Pantry is our on-campus food pantry open weekly for students, faculty and staff.Photo by Mary Olk, Indiana University

Jam the Pantry

Thursday, Nov. 21: 1 to 3 p.m. in Paws’ Pantry, Level 1 of the Campus Center.

Donate food and personal hygiene items to Paws’ Pantry.


Paws’ Pantry is available for students, faculty and staff to use for free with a valid CrimsonCard. Visit for pantry hours, or email to chat one-on-one with a member of the team.

Paws’ Closet is available for students to use for free with a valid CrimsonCard. Visit for closet hours, or email to chat with a member of the team.

The Office of Student Advocacy and Support provides one-on-one advocacy and support to students who are experiencing a variety of issues – including homelessness or food insecurity. Email to set up an appointment, or visit during walk-in hours: 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

The Registry of Options And Resources can be accessed at There you can find information and resources – from financial services to legal services to health and wellness information – all within a five-mile radius of IUPUI’s campus.

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