CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - On Monday, March 21, Mount Royal University (MRU) students will host don't ignore me, an event to raise awareness about homelessness in Calgary.

To promote the event and drive home the issue, at 10 a.m. students will line the hallways in their blankets and sleeping bags to represent the 20 per cent of those experiencing homelessness in Calgary who are children and youth (watch the video on YouTube).

"When I was experiencing homelessness, I had no faith for anything good to ever happen. I felt complete emptiness and despair all the time," said Chaz Smith, a former homeless youth now working to help get youth off the streets.

MRU public relations students worked with the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) to create the don't ignore me campaign.

"This event is to make MRU students stand up and take notice: homelessness is happening right here on campus," said Keri Lee, don't ignore me's event coordinator. "This is about the girl crashing on her friend's couch because she has to choose between tuition and rent."

Research done by the CHF and the University of Calgary indicates there are many communities along major public transit routes, near universities and industrial areas, at a high risk of homelessness.

"Youth, those up to 24 years old, are particularly vulnerable when it comes to homelessness," said Tim Richter, President and CEO, CHF. "It's excellent to see the MRU community coming together to raise awareness."

During the event students and attendees can engage with 13 community partners who are working to end homelessness. Chaz Smith, the CHF's Community Youth Liaison, and Tim Richter will also be speaking.

Another way students are asked to help is by texting HOMELESS to 20222 to donate $5 to support Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.

don't ignore me takes place at Mount Royal University's Ross Glen Hall (East-C Continuing Education Building) on March 21, 2011 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Admission is free and lunch is provided.

The CHF leads the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The CHF partners with homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community and all Calgarians to end homelessness in this city. For more information, visit

To view the video associated with this release, please visit the following link:

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information: don't ignore me
Joshua Smith
Media Relations Coordinator
don't ignore me
Caitlan Schnitzler
Co-Media Relations Coordinator
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Kayleigh Galpin
Communications Advisor