Riverside University H.S. students sleep outside for good cause

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- For the 14th year, students at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Riverside University High School slept outside to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and raise awareness about homelessness.

This year’s student-led “Box City” begins tonight — the night of Thursday, March 13 — with dozens of students participating.

Last year, students raised $3,000 for the cause. Over the past 13 years, Riverside’s “Box City” has raised more than close to $70,000 and resulted in the construction of two Habitat homes. Student organizers hope to add to that total.

Students will begin setting up boxes around 5 p.m. Thursday. Those involved take part in simulations and talks that help them understand the difficulties of those who live without a home. The students are prepared for the temperatures, but will come inside if safety becomes an issue. Boxes are expected to be set up by approximately 7 p.m. and students will wake up at approximately 6 a.m.

For Senior Jasmine Dieringer, this year’s event is her third Box City.

The RUHS student body vice president said she gets involved “because of the message it sends — the message it brings to our community” about homelessness and poverty.

“The most powerful thing is seeing the support from the school community for the cause,” Dieringer said.