Behrend Reacts: Students Take On Homelessness


By Nicole Krahe
Marketing Communication Student Assistant, Penn State Behrend

If you’ve been on campus this week, chances are you’ve noticed the cardboard structures scattered throughout.  The creators and inhabitants of these structures are members of organizations and clubs, aiming to create awareness and raise money for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Despite the warm weather, Behrend students felt the cold reality of homelessness this week. We asked them about their takeaways from this unique experience.

Christina Ayres, senior, Psychology: “People don’t realize how poverty affects children too, so I brought my son out here to show that.”


Tyler Raco, sophomore, Engineering, member of Kappa Delta Rho: “It’s not easy asking for money; it definitely takes a different mentality. It’s hard for people who haven’t been exposed to this to relate, but this project has given us a different insight.”

Ian Connell, senior, Marketing, member of Kappa Delta Rho: “Poverty is a bigger issue than we realize. Many people think they can ignore it, and it will go away.”


Kyra Gregoroff, Rachel Simoni, and Samantha Gaton, members of Gamma Sigma Sigma: “I’m definitely more appreciative of what I have now. We can go to the bathroom in Bruno’s and we get to go back to our own beds tonight. People actually have to live this way and without access to many of the supplies we had to make this shelter.”


Abby Postlewaite, sophomore, Business, Christina Pendice, senior, Mechanical Engineering, members of Omicron Delta Kappa and Lambda Sigma: “It’s definitely been hard. Being out here offers a different perspective and allows students to feel what it’s like to be homeless for a day. We definitely urge people to donate to The Second Harvest Food Bank.”

More photos of Cardboard City:

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Behrend Reacts is a regular Thursday feature at the Behrend Blog that tries to get the campus pulse on a current topic, whether it’s serious or trivial. If you have a question to suggest for Behrend Reacts, please email Nicole Krahe at

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