An inside look at ASB in KC, Mo.

Where do you go if you’re a single mom with a bunch of children, have no job, have no house, and have no hope? Where do you go?  If you live in Kansas City, Mo., you go to Sheffield Place.  According to their Web site, Sheffield Place “has changed the way that homeless families headed by women are given the support needed to break out of the cycle of homelessness and poverty. ” They “offer an alternative to the ‘bed and bread’ concept by providing services addressing the symptomatic causes of homelessness including mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and poverty.” According to a 2005 nationwide study that Sheffield Place cites, “an estimated 745,000 homeless people were documented in a nationwide point-in-time survey. According to this study, families now constitute more than 41% of the homeless population.”

And a few weeks ago, Sheffield Place and homeless women in Kansas City had help when 10 JMU students and staff gave up their spring breaks to volunteer — to help change lives.  These 10 young women provided childcare, clerical skills, yard work, spring cleaning and organized a talent show, “Sheffield Place Idol,” for the center’s residents.

The students also blogged about their experience and shot videos.  Their observations are insightful, touching and funny.  If you’d like to get a close up look at the Alternative Spring Break program at Sheffield Place, check out their blog and videos at this link:  http://adventuresinabp.wordpress.com/

You’ll get an insiders look at what makes JMU people so determined to change the world. Their attitude is simple and is embodied in a quote by Maya Angelou that these young women live by: “nothing gets done unless you do.”

And that’s exactly what Be the Change is all about.

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About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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