Quinnipiac fraternity chapter helps address homelessness

Members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity
Members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity recently volunteered for the "Abraham's Tent" project, which offers emergency shelter and meals to those in need during the winter months.

Jan. 14, 2013 - The long New England winter can be especially difficult for those without a roof over their heads.

A group of Quinnipiac students teamed up with partners in the Hamden community to help those in need of shelter this winter.

From Jan. 7-14, members of Quinnipiac's chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity volunteered with a project called "Abraham's Tent," which was organized by several faith groups in the community, including Grace & St. Peter's Episcopal Church and Temple Emanuel. The initiative provides shelter space and meals for about 12 homeless men during the coldest season of the year.

Through Interfaith Cooperative Ministries, in partnership with Columbus House in New Haven, various local congregations of many different religious traditions work together to make Abraham's Tent possible. Each congregation selects a week to provide shelter and hot meals, thereby providing shelter throughout the winter months to a group of homeless individuals.

The Quinnipiac students provided overnight supervision, staying overnight at the church several nights during the week of Jan. 7-14.

The chapter first got involved with the church through its "Dinner for a Dollar" program. About four members volunteer their time every Friday night to help serve meals to those in need in the community. 

"Part of our fraternity's mission is to 'redefine fraternity,' to get rid of the negative stereotypes that surround fraternities in general," said Luigi Tancredi, who serves as archon (president) of the chapter. "Through our participation with Abraham's Tent and our involvement in the Hamden community, Pi Kappa Phi is trying to display the positive aspects of fraternities and to show that we stand for something much more than ourselves and that service is a large part of why our organization has come together."

The Rev. Amanda Gott, rector of Grace & St. Peter's Church, reflected on the contribution of the Quinnipiac students and other community partners. "We develop meaningful relationships not only with our homeless guests, but also with our brothers and sisters of another religious tradition from Temple Emanuel, and also with some wonderful young men from Pi Kappa Phi who are committed to helping others in their lives."