Many uses for vacant campuses

Passing through Vanderbilt’s fairly vacant campus tonight, Mindy pointed out how sad it was that all these dormitories and other buildings sit pretty much vacant for about three months out of the year. At the same time, plenty of folks spend the nights out on the streets with no where to lay their head. The Fine brainstorm ensued and here where some thoughts the brilliant Mindy produced…

Imagine a three month rehabilitation center set up on vacant university campuses each summer. That is a good amount of time to offer a sort of detox and rehab program for a number of folks. It’d also be ample time to help diagnose mental health concerns and provide plans of care for those in need. Something like this could easily be supported by current students serving as interns and having an opportunity to gain some hands on real life experience related to their field of interest.

Another idea was to set up a three month summer education program for and put together by both students and community members (particularly those in need of living spaces). Imagine being part of a three month summer school that offered classes, workshops, discussion groups and more put together by college professors, students, homeless and formerly homeless persons, and a great many other people. Imagine living in a dorm with that sort of array of people and backgrounds. Imagine breaking bread together with folks from the other side of the tracks. Unfortunately, current colleges don’t seem to provide this, but what about the opportunity to offer these sorts of things on empty college campuses in the summer.

This is me thinking out loud.
What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Many uses for vacant campuses”

  1. i think it is a superb idea!
    one thing to consider, though i would imagine can be worked around
    is those months are often used for inside major repair and such.

    i love it…
    ….changing the world one thought at a time

  2. It might work. A good number of homeless people only detox when thrown into the slammer for a few days. There’s a blog called “Chosen Fast” that posted a story about a homeless vet named Murray. He detoxed serveral times, deemed “cured” homed with a job, went right back to his old ways. People displaced by hurricanes, fires, fleeing domestic violence, runaways from physical or sexually abusive families, downsized, outsourced, restructured out of jobs homeless would probably be the quality of people who given such an opportunity would benefit. Sadly, the alcohol and drug addicted, and mentally ill probably could not be trusted not to rob and trash the dorms.

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