‘It’s On the House’ Provides Area Homeless Hope and Students a Relationship with West End Community
By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
“It’s been said the secrets of success has two parts. First, do more for others. Then you do more for yourself. Second, peace of mind. You guys rock.”
Junior Denarius Frazier carries the “Thank You” notes around in his book bag.
They come from nearly 250 of Atlanta’s homeless who were fed, clothed and given a little love during the second annual “It’s On the House” in Archer Hall on Nov. 16. Frazier enlisted students, community groups and others to go out into the community and invite to campus those going through hard times.
“I want them to know that its not all about us all the time and that we are there,” Frazier said. “I want them to know there is a relationship [between the homeless and students] and that some students have even been where they are. I want them to be able to fellowship with us.”
Homeless men and women got a meal of turkey, green beans, macaroni and cheese, among other items. Barbers from around the Atlanta University Center provided free haircuts while free clothing was also given away.
“Dear Morehouse Students, I am really delighted that there is still some good in the world. Please keep up the good work and many blessings will come you way.”
Frazier, with help from several other students, started “It’s On the House” a year ago after deciding to stay in Atlanta for Thanksgiving so they could brighten up the holiday for those in need.
Last year, they spent a few days canvassing the West End community, letting homeless men and women know that Morehouse was a place that for one day they could go to for a Thanksgiving meal, clothes, haircuts and a smiling face.
This year, Frazier extended that to different parts of Atlanta. They went to the Freedom Parkway area near the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless’ Peachtree-Pine shelter.
“And we don’t just pass out fliers and hang them up,” Frazier said. “We engage in a one-to-five minute dialogue with each of them. Each one of those outreaches lasted about two and a half hours. I think that’s been very successful so far.”
On the day of the event, homeless men and women danced to music provided by a DJ, ate and fellowshipped with students from Morehouse and Spelman. Children from the community group Hop, Skip and Serve – an organization that introduces young people to service – came out to help serve food, particularly to other children so there would be a peer-to-peer relationship, Frazier said.
“Thank you for your caring and love for people in a hard place at a hard time. Much love.”
Before the homeless men and women left Archer Hall, they filled out ‘Thank You’ cards. Each had a short message to students who had lifted their spirits, even if it was just for a day.
Frazier, an Adams scholar, was so touched by some of them that he carries them around.
“’It’s On the House’ is really embedded in my heart,” he said. “When I see other people fellowshipping, I get more out of it sometimes than they may. We know them by name now. That’s one of the things that really made me smile. It was deeper than community outreach. They are part of our network.”
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