A group of students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and other volunteers will travel to San Antonio, Texas, to reach out to homeless families living at Haven for Hope, as part of the University’s first Alternative Winter Break from Friday, Jan. 16, to Sunday, Jan. 18, hosted by the Student Volunteer Connection.

Because this year’s Alternative Break program theme is “Poverty and Homelessness,” Haven for Hope, a non-profit organization providing services for more than 1,300 children, women, and men of San Antonio who are experiencing homelessness, was selected. Students will also assist at the San Antonio Food Bank.

The program provides opportunities for undergraduate college students to engage and immerse in direct “hands-on” service and experiential learning that are outside of their everyday comforts of life. The nine University students signed up to volunteer are Rebecca Ferrell, Elsy Hernandez, Ngoc Ho, Jennifer Hoang, Phuong Hoang, Marina Marroquin, Liliana Perez-Basilio, Minh Pham, and Maria Puentes.

“The students will be immersed within the organization to where they will see a variety of perspectives on a day-to-day basis,” said Hoang, Graduate Assistant for SVC. “It’s beneficial for both the students and the organization to not only build a relationship, but educate the students about a community like Haven for Hope.”

The Haven for Hope facility is located on a $100 million, 37 acre campus, and draws upon the man power of their employees and volunteers to manage and operate their services while pursuing their values of compassion, servant leadership, drive of hope, and excellence.

To decrease the issue of hunger and homelessness in the San Antonio area, Haven for Hope provides several healing and recovery services ranging from job training and employment and education to counseling, child care, and food services. They currently offer more than 850 job placement opportunities.

The main focus of the Alternate Winter Break is to aid in tackling the issue of hunger and homelessness as students to relieve and make an impact in the effects of hunger and homelessness through volunteerism.

There is also an Alternative Spring Break scheduled for Saturday, March 14, to Sunday, March 22, in St. Louis, Missouri.