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      NMU students build cardboard houses to raise awareness for U.P. homeless

      There are an estimated 50 people living without a home in Marquette County, and NMU students showed solidarity for their plight with the Hidden City Sleep Out.

      "We spend so much time on campus, we never really get off, but if you leave campus, there are a lot of homeless people, and we have to remember them," says Alex Finkelstein, an NMU student.

      Fourteen teams signed up to build cardboard homes on the Academic Mall lawn, which will be judged based on size, style, and durability...but there is a catch. One of the requirements for the competition is that two members of every team be required to spend the night in their cardboard homes.

      Although this is a far cry from actually being homeless, students say it is a small taste.

      "We're very privileged as college students, and we're used to having all the comforts of home with food and Internet and electricity. This gives us a chance to think a little bit more about what people, who are homeless, have to go through on a day-to-day basis," says Heather Munsche, an NMU grad student.

      They welcome any visitors who want to come check out the houses. The homes will be up all Tuesday night until they're judged in the morning.

      "People get really into it; it's so cool. Especially as far as the creativity goes; that seems to be the most competitive category. People do really amazing things with colors and the inside of their homes, mailboxes, just cool things like that," says organizer Kaylee Place.

      Monetary and food donations were also collected for Saint Vinny's at the event.