Addressing Affordable Housing & Homelessness

open-doors.jpgJoin JMU Community Service-Learning, Center for Faculty Innovation, Student Government Association and JMU Civic in partnership with Open Doors to learn more about homelessness and what we can do to address it.

Meals for Open Doors

Sign-up here to help make and serve meals the week of April 12, 2021 at Open Doors. Our goal is to have all opportunities filled by APRIL 8. Location: 677 Chicago Ave (formerly Red Front Grocery Store)

Open Doors is a shelter of last resort for anyone experiencing homelessness who may not qualify to stay at other shelters. Due to COVID-19, they have extra precautions this season. ALL guests must be screened daily by Healthcare for the Homeless Suitcase Clinic prior to shelter entry.

Review the available opportunities here. Pay close attention to which day(s) you are signing up for (there are multiple options for multiple days)! If you are able, please consider signing up for more than one slot. :) All volunteers on-site must be 18 years or older. Please share with other JMU friends/colleagues to encourage them to join us!

**All food should be dropped off ready to serve as we do not have access to an oven. Please drop off food in disposable/recyclable/donated dishes including serving utensils.**

We can't wait for you to join us for the week-Thank you!

Downtown Barber Shop

On April 12, Downtown Barber Shop will generously provide hair cuts and beard trims to guests of Open Doors worth over $800 in services. Help us compensate them by making a donation. Contact Dr. Carah Ong Whaley at


Project for Engaged Musical Theatre

On April 13, the Project for Engaged Musical Theatre will facilitate a drum circle at Open Doors as means for strengthening community and giving space for free expression. PEMT is an artistic incubator aimes at empowering communities at the intersection of art, community and civic engagement.


Learn More

Despite some four decades of research into best practices and policies, homelessness has increased nationally and reached crisis levels in the United States. As a result of the pandemic, people are at an even greater risk of housing insecurity. In a new book, Ungoverned and Out of Sight, Dr. Charley Willison, a National Institutes of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Department of Health Care Policy, explores how strategic decentralization and delegation of homeless policy governance have created fragmented systems that make it challenging to address homelessness in the United States. Dr. Willison emphasizes improving participatory equity of persons experiencing homelessness or at risk to improve policy design and implementation. Dr. Willison also offers recommendations to improve homeless policy and governance systems.

Student Learning Opportunities

On Tuesday, April 6 at 3:30pm: CS-L will be hosting a screening and discussion of the 2006 film “The pursuit of happiness.” Students can sign-up here by the end of the day Monday, April 5.

Off-Campus Life Leasing 101 workshop for any student who wants or needs to learn more about the leasing process before signing a lease for off campus housing.

Faculty Roundtable: Power, Extraction, and Partnership: The Risks and Rewards of Community-Based Research

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM. Learn more and register here

Many of us do community-based research projects, sometimes involving marginalized, vulnerable, or underserved populations. There are obviously many benefits to doing so, including creating space for and uplifting stories that otherwise would not be shared or validated. But, as Tuck & Yang note, in their essay “R Words: Refusing Research” (2014), sometimes such research only seems interested in stories of pain, narratives of damage or destruction, which are then captured and packaged for the gain of the researcher. What costs are there to doing research involving others? What other ways of engaging exist? How can we notice, interrogate, and level our own power in these dynamics? How can we avoid or refuse extraction and exploitation? Join us at this roundtable to explore the dynamics of power and privilege in the research process.

Facilitated by:

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