sealPurdue News

December 4, 2002

Purdue students provide support to homeless teens

Purdue University students will work with inner-city youths in Indianapolis to provide backpacks full of necessities to homeless teens. The backpacks will be filled Friday evening (12/6) by Purdue students and 10 to 15 middle school students during a lock-in at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 40 W. 40th St.. Later that night, about 100 backpacks filled with soap, shampoo, hats, gloves, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes will be delivered to the Indianapolis Outreach Inc. Center for distribution.

The effort is part of Project High Hopes, a service-learning program for Purdue students. It's offered through a collaboration among Purdue's Krannert School of Management, the Purdue Department of 4-H Youth and the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service office in Marion County.

The lock-in will begin at 6 p.m., and the group will transport the backpacks to the Outreach Center, at 2060 E. 54th St., at 10 p.m. Items for the backpacks were donated by area retailers. The Purdue women's soccer team and fans also collected items and supported the project.

In preparation for the event, Purdue students talked with homeless teens to find out more about their situation.

"Some of the teens are on the street because they want to be. Others want off, but need help," said Justin Tobey, a junior psychology major who is part of the project. He said while some sleep on the streets, others "couch surf," staying a couple of nights at one home and then moving on to another.

CONTACT: Pam Morris, assistant professor of 4-H youth, (765) 494-8293.