5 Days For The Homeless is a campaign which will run from March 9th to the 14th across Canada. Throughout the week, students from 27 different universities will experience what it's like to live "homeless". Students will give up personal habits and necessities such as access to clean clothes, cellphones and showers.
Montreal's Concordia University, HEC Montréal, ESG-UQAM and McGill University will be participating this year, in order to raise awareness and donations for Dans La Rue and Chez Doris, two charities which seek to help the homeless, youth at risk and to provide homes for women in Montreal.
Here's what you need to know about 5 Days For The Homeless
To date, various universities across Canada have raised a total of $1,212,000 since the very first initiative in 2005. 5 Days For The Homeless Montreal has succeeded in raising over $250,000 for the local community.
There are over 300,000 homeless people that are currently living in Canada. According to Sante Montreal, in 1998 there were a total of 28,214 Montrealers who had visited a shelter or a soup kitchen. According to Institut de la statistique du Québec, 12,666 of those had been neglected from permanent housing for the next year.
Students who chose to take part in 5 Days For The Homeless are committed to living under real homeless conditions. They are required to empty their pockets and carry no income. Food and drinks can only be consumed when being directly donated to the students. In terms of sleeping, those participating are only allowed to carry a pillow and a sleeping bag, since they are required to sleep outdoors. Despite the conditions, participants must still attend all of their classes.
Just like the homeless, participants are required to disconnect from all forms of social media, that means no cell phones, computers, tablets or gadgets that may connect them with others. Students will also be given the choice to write or film their experiences throughout the process. You can monitor the participants' activities on their blog which will be updated daily.
In every region, different universities will be participating in 5 Days Form The Homeless and donating funds to different charitable causes. In Montreal, funds will be raised and donated for Dans La Rue, which is an organization founded in 1988 that seeks to help youth at risk and kids living on the streets. As well, contributions will be go towards Chez Doris, a local women's refuge.