The Impact of a Service-Learning Project on Student Awareness of Homelessness, Civic Attitudes, and Stereotypes Toward the Homeless

Kim Buch, Susan Harden


In 2008, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC
Charlotte) joined in a community initiative with the Urban
Ministry Center to provide shelter to the homeless during the
winter months. A student organization was formed to sustain
university support. The author created a service-learning project
as part of a Citizenship and Service Practicum course. Three
semesters of end-of-course student evaluations indicate that the
service-learning experience had an impact on the students in
three ways. It raised awareness of homelessness; helped dispel
negative stereotypes and foster more positive attitudes; and promoted
positive civic attitudes and desire to “make a difference.”

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