Student Government (SG) recently donated $1,500 to the Remake The World (RTW) Veteran Center, which serves veterans, youth, and the general public in Washington Park. The Center, which offers a shelter, warming center, and soup kitchen among a variety of other programs, was forced to shut down on January 22, when its pipes froze and burst due to freezing temperatures.
“We consider our donation of $1,500 to represent a one-cent donation on behalf of (more or less) each student at the University,” SG President and fourth-year Michael McCown wrote in an e-mail.
According to a DNAinfo Chicago article, the total damage to RTW amounted to around $4,000. As of now, most of the Center’s services, including its hot meals program, are still suspended, according to co-founder Arnetha Gholston-Habeel. Despite the closing, however, the Center is still transporting people to work in its vans and working on a referral basis for housing and employment opportunities, Gholston-Habeel said.
McCown became aware of RTW Veteran Center’s situation and visited the Center with second-year Tyler Kissinger, SG community and government liaison, last week. The donation came out of SG’s administrative budget, which is distributed from the Student Life Fee. SG’s cabinet voted to distribute the money through a purchase order, which Senior Director of Student Life Sarah Cunningham, SG’s adviser, approved.
“The owners have depleted their pension and life insurances for repairs in order to continue operating, and frankly are so deserving of as much support as we can give them,” Kissinger wrote in an e-mail.
According to McCown, SG hopes the donation will be the beginning of a relationship between the University and the RTW Veteran Center and is developing plans for further involvement.