Florida A&M University (FAMU) received $15,000 in donations to help its more than 300 students experiencing homelessness.
The donations came during a FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) Distinguished Awards Banquet last week when event chair Doris L. Hicks presented a $10,000 check. Hicks has been donating monthly to the Student Emergency Fund, saying she was initially inspired to assist struggling students after witnessing the homelessness problem in her hometown of Lakeland, Florida.
Upon presenting her check, Miami-Dade Commissioner Oliver Gilbert then offered $5,000, saying he had experienced homelessness firsthand as a FAMU student when he slept in his car for a semester.
Shawnta Friday-Stroud, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the FAMU Foundation said the donations are greatly appreciated given that COVID-19 has exacerbated the hardships facing students.
“We are hearing about more cases of students who are either homeless or near homeless,” Friday-Stroud said. “This makes a big difference."