ATΩ Raises Money for Homeless

Taylor Isaac, Student Reporter

Days spent in the cold—hungry and without shelter—are the harsh reality for people affected by homelessness across Cabell County.  Often these people do not know where their next meal will come from or where they will rest their head at night. 

With the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, many Huntingtonians are homeless or at risk of being homeless in the very near future. To raise awareness of this issue, one of Marshall’s fraternities created an unusual display as their annual philanthropy from Sept. 26 to Sept. 30.

A large, cardboard house was constructed in the Memorial Student Center Plaza by Marshall’s Alpha Tau Omega (ATΩ) fraternity. For 24 hours, members sheltered outside to demonstrate the daily struggles of people affected by homelessness. 

Perplexed students were encouraged to stop by and ask questions about the exhibition. Evan Herd, president of Alpha Tau Omega, said the goal of “ATΩ Goes Homeless” is to get a campus-wide conversation started about the effects of homelessness.

“Not a lot of our members are from the area,” Herd said. “Hosting ‘ATΩ Goes Homeless’ helps our members get involved with the Huntington community by supporting people that we encounter almost every day.”

Fundraising also took place during the week-long event. According to ATΩ philanthropy chair Haden Barickman, the frat raised over $950 so far for their cause.

“It feels really great to bring back one of our frat’s oldest traditions,” Barickman said. “Our philanthropy goes back 17 years, and we are excited to have the project up and running for the first time since the pandemic started.”

All donations have gone to the Huntington City Mission, a non-profit Christian organization that aims to meet the needs of people affected by homelessness in the community. 

After spending the week outdoors, Herd said that embarking on this philanthropy was a wake up call for both himself and his fraternity brothers. 

“This experience has really opened my eyes,” Herd said. “We often see people who are homeless walking on the street or behind our fraternity’s house, but you never really know what they are going through until you put yourself in their shoes.”