Katies visit state capitol to combat homelessness

Community Work and Learning students

St. Kate's students meet with Representative Dave Pinto at the Capitol.

St. Kate’s Community Work and Learning program took 27 students to visit the Minnesota State Capitol last month. During the excursion, students met with Representative Dave Pinto to discuss the issue of homelessness in our community.

The visit was part of a January-term class, "The Global Search for Justice: The Changing Face of Homelessness." This course centered around service-learning opportunities and was co-taught by Professor Meghan Mason of the Public Health department and Elizabeth Dunens, Associate Director of the Center for Community Work and Learning. Students joined one of 18 community organizations where they spent 24 hours over the course of the term learning about home insecurity. The students completed the course by presenting their experiences to a panel of peers and representatives from their service-learning organizations and discussing increased efforts to advocate for solutions to the issue.

"The course is a transformative experience for our students,” said Dunens, associate director for the Community Work and Learning program. “The combination of service-learning and community education makes for profound learning grounded in the experience of those closest to the issue of homelessness. At the end of the term, so many students shared a newfound dedication to speaking up about this issue, and a desire to stay engaged with community efforts around housing access.”

By Kristen Wunderlich