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Professor holding T-shirt sale

The Bakersfield Californian

Saturday March 08, 2003, 09:54:28 PM

A Cal State Bakersfield professor is selling his own T-shirt designs as a means of combating homelessness.

CSUB sociology professor Russell Travis will hold a T-shirt sale from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, in front of Russo's at The Marketplace to raise money for Homeless Quarters, an organization Travis founded last year.

The T-shirt sale will feature several multicolored prints of local themes, including "Bakersfield, A Riverbed Runs Through It," or, "I Just Love It When You Talk Crude," a design Travis says has long been popular with those who work in Kern's oil patch.

"There will be T-shirts for adults and for children, all for only $5 each," Travis said. "All of the proceeds will go to the Homeless Quarters Foundation."

Travis' Homeless Quarters Foundation has placed clear plastic coin containers shaped like houses in various Kern County businesses asking residents to deposit a spare quarter.

Travis estimates that "if a quarter of the national population ponied up one quarter -- just 25 cents -- a day for one year, it would be possible to raise $6.3 billion."

In Kern County alone, it would total nearly $15 million, he said.

The local focus of Homeless Quarters includes both the homeless population and the thousands who constitute the "near-homeless."

"When you boil things down to the bare bones, the dilemma in Kern County is much the same as elsewhere," Travis said. "Too many families and singles are forced to pay out 50 percent or more of their meager income to provide a roof over their heads.

Many thousands are just a paycheck or two away from entering the ranks of the homeless."

Internet users can go to www.HomelessQuarters.org for more information. Or call Travis at 664-3159.

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