Students Join Fellow Lasallians to Fight Homelessness

On November 5, a group of 19 Holy Family students and two teachers, Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Dols, were bused to Cretin-Derham Hall, the host location for 2016’s Night to Fight Homelessness. At Night to Fight, four local Lasallian schools, Cretin-Derham Hall, Totino Grace, De La Salle, and Holy Family, get together to gain knowledge and create awareness for homelessness.

We started out the night with Mass, praying for the homeless. After a light dinner, Joe Surber, a representative from Families Moving Forward, spoke about the factors of homelessness and how we can help. None of the factors he mentioned were things someone can choose, making the point that homelessness is not a choice.

He also focused on the action aspect of Families Moving Forward and how students can act upon this issue. He encouraged students to become involved through social media and connect with Families Moving Forward: Twitter- @believeinhome and Facebook- @beaconinterfaith.

After icebreakers and fun team building games, we eventually went outside to sleep for the night. Most people slept in tents; however, some brave souls decided to sleep in a box. Luckily for us, the weather could not have been more perfect fall night: 52-degrees and no wind.

There are many things that changed my perspective on homelessness at Night to Fight.
The weather: Even in 52-degree weather, in a tent, and with multiple layers, I was still cold. Imagining a homeless person with no extra layers, on the street, and in the middle of a Minnesota winter, makes me realize how terrible the conditions for homeless can be.

We went to bed at 1 a.m. and woke up at 5:30 a.m., resulting in about four hours of sleep. These can be regular hours for the homeless, especially with Families Moving Forward. They wake up the families at 5:30 a.m. to make sure the families can make the bus to the day center so they can go to work and school.

After Night to Fight, I was lucky enough to go home and take a 3-hour nap in my bed. This is not even close to reality for the homeless. Each night is a question of where the homeless will go, creating problems of safety and health. I take for granted that I will sleep in a bed every night under shelter.

One of the Holy Family students that slept in a box was Jack Geadelmann. His perspective on homeless changed over the course of the night: “When I first got to the field and set up my box, it seemed like sleeping in it with two layers and a sleeping bag would be a piece of cake. However, when we all got settled eventually, the cold air and flat ground was much more present. After about an hour or so, I did get some sleep, but it’s not a discomfort I could imagine living with for days on end.”

Night to Fight Homeless is meant to give students a small insight into what homelessness is like. For someone who has never experienced homelessness, just one night can be uncomfortable and miserable, so imagining having no shelter for days on end is unfathomable. Fighting homelessness needs action, whether it is getting involved on the social media, creating a Families Moving Forward program in your local church, or simply being grateful for the shelter you have.

This article written by Mary Seifert first appeared in the school’s online paper, The Phoenix on November 5, 2016. Click on this link to read more articles.

Senior Takes Fourth Trip to State

For the 11th consecutive year, Holy Family will send at least one runner to the State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, demonstrating the strength of the cross country program over the last decade. In large part, that consistency has been the result of underclassmen stepping up to replace a talented graduating class, and this year was no different. Having lost Allie Bodin and Maria Eastman to graduation, the team looked to seniors Kendra Franck and Abby Ernst for leadership, in addition to key contributions from other runners like freshman Abbey Fink and sophomore Ellie Marschall.

The Section 4A meet took place at Battle Creek on Thursday, October 27th. The Fire took on a strong field, including two top-10 ranked teams in Minnehaha Academy and Trinity School. To qualify for the state meet, the team would need to finish in one of the top 2 places. Unfortunately the team came up short by the narrowest of margins, finishing 3rd by only 2 points behind Minnehaha and Trinity, respectively.

This strong team effort came courtesy of a 4th place finish by Kendra Franck (20:09), a 20th place finish from freshman Abbey Fink (20:52), a 24th place finish from Ellie Marshall (21:07), a 27th place finish from Abby Ernst (21:17), and a 29th place finish by Megan Beulke (21:25).

Franck’s impressive 4th place finish earned her a place in the state meet for the 4th consecutive year.
Reflecting on the season, Kendra said, “This fall, our team got way closer and we did a lot of team bonding. We worked really hard this and it was so sad to see us miss the state qualifying places by two points.”

Kendra will run at St. Olaf college on Saturday, November 5.

This article originally appeared in the school online newspaper, The Phoenix, on November 1. Staff writer: Grace Lund Click here to see more stories from The Phoenix writers.