Imagine being homeless, living on the street or under a freeway overpass.
Matthew Garcia, an active Citrus College student and the public relations officer for the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honor Society experienced being homeless. Garcia lived in various motels during his senior year in high school.
Garcia advocates using the term “houseless” instead of “homeless” when describing the situation to the campus community to help realize the solution is not just giving away food and money, rather these people living on the streets need to have a more stable environment.
“The whole concept behind homelessness is ambiguous,” Garcia said. “It indicates people who are [homeless] are unwanted because they do not have a home.”
Garcia and AGS are hosting a lip sync competition to give students, clubs and the community an opportunity to raise money for the homeless. The event will take place May 20, from 1:30 – 4 p.m., in the Campus Center East Wing.
“I have realized during my [ordeal], it is something that can be overcame,” Garcia said. “It is definitely not like cancer where it is incurable; it is something that can be fixed if the right resources are allocated to the right people,”
Students are encouraged to participate in the lip sync battle. The goal is to raise $600 to pay for emergency hygiene backpack kits, which can have items ranging from socks to tampons.
“What the [houseless] lack is not the money but the necessary tools to get help,” said Jack Lui, AGS president.
AGS is working with the Anime Club and NASA Club along with Judy M. Nelson, mayor of Glendora, and local businesses to come out for the event to help raise awareness and money in spirited way. AGS will be also reaching out to other clubs on campus.
Naoni Lee, treasurer of the Anime Club feels it is important to help homeless people because of the number of veterans on the streets. The idea hits close to home to her, having had family who served in the military.
“[Some] may be victims of circumstances and it is a problem that society faces,” Lee said, “and there should be some level of awareness that they need help and whatever we can do should be done.”
“As college students we are at that level where we have more power than we think we have,” Garcia said. “As young college students, we have that energy to change things, and it’s time to wake people up.”
“It will be fun, and a good time to learn a little something,” Garcia added.
Donations can be made either at the event, on the AGS website or on their account at the cashier’s booth. Students who donate will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $5-10 gift card to Starbucks, In-n-Out and Chipotle.