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Oakton’s Shantytown Turns the Spotlight on Homelessness

Every night in Illinois, an estimated 14,000 people experience some form of homelessness. Between November 25 and December 2, more than 30 Oakton student clubs will call attention to this devastating problem by filling the Des Plaines campus courtyard, at 1600 East Golf Road, with temporary shanties built out of discarded material. On Tuesday, November 27, students will spend the night in their shanties to help raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.

Stop by from 6 –9 p.m. to meet the builders and vote for your favorite shanty by making a donation to the “Change for Change” paint can outside the door. Enjoy a campfire, hot chocolate, cider, and music by the Folktons, featuring Oakton employees.

Sponsored by Oakton’s Habitat Chapter, the second annual Shantytown builds on the success of last year’s event. “We’re adding a new twist this year,” says Habitat Chapter faculty advisor Marvin Bornschlegl. “Because November 27 is a Tuesday, our students will have to get up after a cold, uncomfortable night in their shanties and head for school, work, and other obligations the next morning. There’s no better way to gain some real perspective on homelessness.”

A special presentation on Tuesday, December 4, will feature the Shantytown inhabitants, as well as a discussion about homelessness within the Oakton community. The free “post-Shantytown” event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at the College’s Skokie campus, 7701 North Lincoln Avenue, in Room C133.

For more details, contact Bornschlegl at 847.635.1845 or mbornsch@oakton.edu. 

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Laura Stefany Diaz was 16 years old when she moved here from Colombia. Now she’s on a journey toward a career in teaching.

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