Four members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. congregated at their usual table in front of Tucker Hall on the evening of Nov. 3. As the clock chimed, alerting students of the seven o’ clock hour, these gentlemen prepared for the long, chilly night ahead.
“Sleep Out for the Homeless,” hosted by the Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. started 7 p.m. Friday night and ended 8 a.m. the following morning.
The event, which was held to collect clothes and canned goods, included a night of music, food and fun courtesy of the men of Phi Beta Sigma. Although the event included entertainment, the purpose of the night was about more than just fun.
“It (Sleep Out for the Homeless) originated on the campus of North Carolina A &T at the end of the 1980s,” said Brian Moses, the social action chairman for the fraternity. “Since then it has become a yearly tradition, carried out by all HBCU undergrad chapters of Phi Beta Sigma around the nation.”
The event was designed to raise awareness of the fact that there are homeless people all around. During the event members collect clothes and other essentials for the homeless, said Moses, a senior business administration student from Houston. The items collected are not given out to a specific shelter, but rather distributed on a need basis.
Last year’s recipients of the donated items were victims of Hurricane Katrina. Moses said this year the clothes will be distributed according to what is needed at various shelters.
The crowd’s numbers grew later that night, as the Sigmas’ sisters of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc joined.
Isha Brown, a junior English student from Miami, said she came out to support the event not just because she’s a Zeta, but because, “(Sleep Out for the Homeless) brings light to the FAMU campus. It’s shedding light on the situation that everything is not always granted to everyone.”
The Sigmas brought cardboard boxes, pillows and blankets for those who came to sleep out. Food from Zaxby’s and Hungry Howie’s was provided, and music played until the early hours of the morning. In addition to clothes and other traditional necessities given, items such as a 20-inch television were donated.
“I’m out here because it’s what we do. It’s about dedication. It’s colder than what I would like, but it is what we gotta do,” said 21-year-old Memphis native Reginald Tooley, a junior health care management student.
At 4 a.m., the men of Phi Beta Sigma began gathering the donations received in order to deliver them to shelters the following day.
As the “Sleepout for the Homeless” came to a close, Sigmas began talking about their next opportunity to help the community.
The Sigmas’ toy drive is set to kick off sometime in early December. However, they will be accepting donations all next week for those who would still like to donate to “Sleep Out for the Homeless.”
To donate items, contact Brian Moses at (832) 385-0794.