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Appalachian’s Community Service Program Receives Community Impact Award

by Crystal Thompson

BOONE–The Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT) community service program at Appalachian State University has received a Community Impact Award from the North Carolina Interagency Council for Coordinating Homeless Programs for its contributions to the Boone area homeless community.

The award was presented Dec. 4 in Raleigh during the annual N.C. Conference on Homelessness.

Representatives from the Hospitality House of the Boone Area Inc. nominated ACT for the award.

“We have a huge number of students that volunteer, and often times we have whole classes, especially with the university’s service-learning project,” said Sandy Sims, a social worker at the Hospitality House. “They have developed a positive on-going relationship.”

Students help with secretarial duties, and read and play with the children living at the shelter. They also help with meals and meetings of the house’s occupants.

The Hospitality House is a private, non-profit crisis intervention facility assisting adults and families in homeless situations. Shelter and meals are provided to individuals or families for a maximum stay of 30 days. It opened in 1985.

“Students have been working there since the beginning of the Hospitality House,” said Jenny Koehn, ACT’s community service coordinator. “That awareness and service has only grown during the past few years.”

The ICCHP is an advisory council to Gov. Mike Easley and N.C. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Carmen Hooker Buell. Its members represent the homeless and formerly homeless, local government, state departments, and nonprofit organizations.