University group partners with Gentry House to help impoverished

Murray State’s Sociology Club recently partnered with the Gentry House, a local homeless shelter and resource center, to provide needed household items and resources for homeless families and individuals in Murray and Calloway County.

The Sociology Club is partnering with the Gentry House in project S.H.O.P or (Sociology Club’s Homeless Outreach Project) to raise awareness of small towns such as Murray, which have families in need of something as basic as shelter.

According to the U.S. Census for 2010, almost 20 percent of families living in Kentucky are considered to be living in poverty. This rate is expected to climb due to many social and economic factors. This means Murray alone will see around 50-60 families per year at the Gentry House.

Chris Mahan, student coordinator of the project, said for the month of November and the first two weeks in December, they will be collecting household items.

“We are collecting items such as toothpaste, razors, paper towels, bleach, soap, shampoo, pot holders, trash bags, blankets, detergent, pots, pans, brooms, mops, buckets and body wash,” Mahan said.

Mahan said they will have boxes located in Faculty Hall, Wells Hall and many participating residential colleges for collection. These items will be distributed among families as long as the supplies last for the next several months.

The Sociology Club wishes to further strengthen the ties with the community and the University while addressing the social issue.

“We are hopeful that this will benefit the 60 plus families that come to the Gentry House and to also raise awareness especially during the (colder) season when many families are faced with housing issues rather than gift purchases,” Mahan said.

If you would like more information about how you can become involved or would like to make a monetary donation, please contact Scott Byrd at sbyrd8@murraystate.edu or 270-809-2692.  If you would like to contact the Gentry House, you can email Wendy Lovett, case manager at the Gentry House, at wendy@phamurray.org.

Story by Alex Berg, Staff writer.