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Student-led 'It's On The House' Feeds West End Homeless

Students Feed HomelessBy ADD SEYMOUR JR.

As a freshman, Denarius Frazier remembers going to a local soup kitchen to feed the homeless.  That’s when he knew he was going to devote more time to feeding those who are hungry.

This year, he and fellow sophomores Ahmad Barber and Tre’vell Anderson put together “It’s On the House,” an effort to provide meals, music and haircuts – all free of charge – to the less fortunate in Archer Hall on Nov. 17.

“I truly love helping the homeless, especially in Atlanta which has the some of the highest rates of homelessness in America,” Frazier said.  “We were going to spend Thanksgiving here in Atlanta together, so we decided to plan a homeless dinner for others who may not be as fortunate.  We came up with the name, “It’s On The House,” because we wanted the homeless and the surrounding community to embrace Morehouse and Morehouse to embrace them.”

The three enlisted other Morehouse students to help by walking around the West End community, handing out fliers, walking down alleys and under bridges to tell the area’s homeless community that Morehouse would be providing meals, free haircuts and even music.

“People were loving the fact that they could go downstairs and get a haircut,” Barber said.  “They heard their favorite songs from the old school era and they truly felt at home.   They didn’t want to leave.”

Sophomores Jaleel Johnson, Brandon Thomas and Ricardo Dunmoodie were barbers for the event while TJ’s Bistro provided the food.   Also involved in the event were the Office of Housing and Residential Life, the Bonner Office of Community Service, the Student Government Associaton, the Honors Program, student organizations, Next Great American Poets, Actively Changing Tomorrow Through Public Service, “We Do it 4 the Hood,” Avant Garde of Robert Hall and the AUC African Student Association.

Anderson said approximately 175 people turned out for the event, making it a huge success.

“Just having the opportunity to give someone a meal they may not otherwise get, it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re the reason that they are happy,” he said.  “With “It’s On the House,” they really had the opportunity to sit down and enjoy themselves.  They had people catering to them, bringing them drinks and seconds.  It was really an opportunity to forget about all their struggles and the problems they may be having, just for one night.  It was a great experience.”

Barber said this is only the beginning.

“We’re going to actually try to make it an annual thing where even when we’re not here, somebody else can carry on “It’s On The House” as an annual event.  So we definitely want people to know around Thanksgiving time they can count on Morehouse to give them a Thanksgiving dinner.”

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