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College students bring attention to plight of homeless

A group of college students plan to spend a night in bed-sized cardboard boxes as a way of calling attention to the needs of the homeless population.

About 30 Mississippi College students majoring in social work are camping out in front of the Clinton school’s cafeteria from midday Monday until midday Tuesday. The group will sleep overnight in the large boxes donated by furniture and grocery stores and bring only the clothes on their backs. They will depend on the kindness of strangers for food.

“This project will allow students to be engaged as homeless people, at least for one night,” said Brian Anderson, director of the social work program at the private Baptist college.

Anderson is one of several faculty members joining students in the project.

The students, members of the Association of Student Social Workers, will also be accepting donations for the homeless ministry at Southside Baptist Church in Jackson.

Louis Armstrong, the head of Jackson’s homeless programs, has reported that in the five-county region around Jackson, the homeless population jumped from 488 in January 2005 to 760 this year.