Formerly homeless Kent State student pays help forward

Sky Fought

One in every four veterans don’t have a place to lay their head at night, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. To change this statistic, students at Kent State are banding together. 

Jeremy Poe, a junior communication studies major, has created the “Ready. Set. Feed a Vet.” campus food drive. The food drive will help the Freedom House, a transitional housing support center for veterans living in Portage County. 

Poe said he wanted to start this project to do something good for the community. The food drive is important to him because he experienced homelessness first hand. 

“I know what it’s like to not have a place to call home,” Poe said. “I have experienced the hunger pains and anxiety that comes with wondering where your next meal is going to come.” 

Poe said this event allows him to pay it forward to those who helped him when he was not able to help himself. He said the help he got came right from people at Kent State who worked with him to find housing and food and continue his education.

Jackson Chiesa, a senior criminology and justice studies major, has been collaborating with Poe on the event. Chiesa said his passion for the event comes from being a veteran himself and having respect for veterans all across the board.

“These people have given up their freedom so every non-active duty and non-veteran can have theirs,” Chiesa said. “The last thing this country needs to do is forget about the ones who helped create it.”

Kara Curry, a senior communication studies major and the president of Kent Communication Society (KCS), also played a part in planning the event. She and other members of KCS helped with advertising and volunteering for the food drive. 

Curry said Poe approached her and the other officers with his plan for the food drive at the first KCS meeting of the semester. Curry said that she wanted to help because she has family members who are serving in the armed forces and wants to give back any support she can.

“I see how much of a life commitment being in the military can be as well as how much of a toll it can put on a person’s life afterwards,” Curry said. 

She said she wants the men staying at the Freedom House to feel like their community appreciates and supports them in their time of need.

Poe said he wants every student, staff and faculty member to participate and donate to the cause. 

The food drive will take place March 10 – 12. Anyone is welcome to drop off food donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first floor of the Kent State Student Center outs

Contact Sky Fought at [email protected].