Students at USF Sarasota-Manatee participated in a unique service learning course designed to promote engagement in community issues. These students conducted outside research and volunteered at least 18 hours in the community this summer working to understand and find solutions for homelessness in Sarasota and Manatee counties. At the end of the semester students presented their research findings, which will be included in the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in Sarasota County. Research topics included: the growing number of homeless children in the community; government programs designed to help people stay in their homes; discharge planning and the importance of volunteerism; the development of a Mentoring and Advocacy Program; state budget cuts which affect homeless services; and issues relating specifically to homeless veterans.
Pictured (back row, L to R): Patrick Walker, USFSM Student; Miranda Richardson, USFSM Student; Richard Martin, Executive Director of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness; Hinning Bolanos, USFSM Student; and Diane Florez, USFSM Student. (Front Row, L to R): Sarah Shumaker, Project Administrator for the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in Sarasota County; Bonnie Greenball Silvestri, JD – Course Instructor; Diana Hartig, USFSM Student; and Shawna Machado, USFSM Student.