Our own Casey Holland visited an East Carolina University classroom on Monday, April 15th to discuss homelessness and its causes. The class is a service-learning class taught by Dr. Guiseppe Getto. As part of the class, students are developing the social media presence of Greenville Community Shelter through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn campaigns. They are also preparing a comprehensive guide to social media that will be delivered to the Shelter at the end of the semester so that we can continue the work they’ve begun.
Service-learning opportunities enable students to learn and give. The students of this particular class have been working hard to learn social media best practices like what kind of information to post, where to find good information online, when to post, and who to follow. In turn, they have helped to dramatically increase the social media presence of the Shelter.
As part of her visit, Holland discussed issues related to homelessness in Pitt County, NC, including joblessness, struggles to find adequate housing, and life in the Shelter. The highlight of her talk was a slideshow walk-through of the shelter that allowed students to see what it is like to be homeless.
During a reflection session after the visit, students reported that they had learned the following things from Casey’s visit:
- No one plans to be homeless
- Homelessness is a societal problem, not an individual problem
- GCS is the only homeless shelter in all of Pitt County
- Many GCS residents struggle to find work in a tough economy
- GCS is almost entirely funded through private donations