Nearly 30 University of Portland students, faculty and staff took part in the Urban Policy Immersion, a multi-day program designed to educate about issues facing Portlanders who are poor.

Ending Saturday, Jan. 12, participants spent three days volunteering and learning at St. Andre Bessette Church, Blanchet House, Oregon Food Bank, Community Transitional Schools, Night Strike, Sisters of the Road Café, Dignity Village, Brother Andre Café and the Macdonald Center. In addition to having a minimal budget for meals, participants spent three nights sleeping on floors at St. Andre Bessette.

“It’s a chance to expose students to urban poverty, to meet people who live here,” said Pat Ell, assistant director of the Moreau Center. Ell noted that participating students represent a wide variety of majors, including business, education, nursing, engineering and from those in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.