Barnett on the porch of Charlottesvilles homeless drop-in
center, open seven dayas a week.
aids the homeless
passing by the homeless on the street, most people avert their
eyes. But Brad Barnett has chosen to see, to listen and to try
21, a third-year student at the University whos graduating
a year early, spent many hours as a volunteer at On Our Own Drop-In
Center, a shelter for the homeless in Charlottesville, during
his First Year. Impressed by the needs of the centers clients,
he founded CavsCare, a group of U.Va. students who wanted to help
at the shelter.
we see social ills, we put them into a separate category to deal
with them, we erect barriers between them and us, Barnett
said. This eases our guilt and pain. My goal was to break
down those barriers.
better understand the lives of Charlottesvilles homeless,
Barnett, from Clifton, Va., interviewed several men and women
and gathered essays and art work into a collection titled, shelter
from the storm: a candid view of life and homelessness in Charlottesville.
work with the homeless was a major factor in his recent selection
as a Truman Scholar, according to the Harry S. Truman Foundation.
Each year, it grants 70 scholarships of $30,000 to promising college
juniors nationwide to help them pay for their last year of college.
Barnett is graduating this May thanks to AP credits and summer
school classes, he can apply the scholarship to graduate school.
an Echols scholar, Barnett examined questions about homelessness
and the human condition through an interdisciplinary program that
included classes in anthropology, philosophy, religion and English.
He also completed the prerequisites for medical school.
summer, Barnett will work in Dr. Judith Whites cell biology
lab, researching retroviruses. He is planning to pursue a career
in medicine and wants to continue his work with the homeless
or treat children battling cancer.