Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

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Dr. Pete Fenton teaches unexpected audience

Dr. Fenton has a lovely profile written about him by Colt Dillard, a Public Relations student who is interning at MUST Ministries where Dr. Fenton also volunteers.

Here is the story;

Kennesaw State professor teaches unexpected audience.

KENNESAW, Ga. – When we think of finding hope, we don’t often think of finding it among the homeless. Kennesaw State University criminal justice professor, Peter Fenton, does just that. For six years he has volunteered with MUST Ministries in the computer lab at the Elizabeth Inn campus. He helps those living in homelessness create and improve resumes, search for jobs and apply to jobs. On an Easter Sunday, the West Cobb resident felt it was time to start using his talents to serve those in need after hearing a sermon his pastor shared, giving the challenge to “go and do.” Fenton said he knew about MUST since its inception in 1971, so when he felt the call to invest into others, MUST was at the forefront of his mind. Given his background in the justice system, he has dealt with people who are homeless throughout his career. It was time for him to see their story from a different side – their side. “Homelessness isn’t a disease, but a condition people can be pulled out of. As a former police officer and current criminal justice professor, I perceive people viewing those struggling with addiction and homelessness as a ‘them,’” he said. The “us versus them” mentality is affecting society in the most negative way possible, and is a common discussion in his classes, he said. He uses the discussion to set the record straight for his students – homelessness is no respecter of persons. “It’s made me realize that homelessness can affect any of us, and crosses all races, genders and socioeconomic classes. It doesn’t diminish a person. It doesn’t affect their souls. It’s an external condition, and it can be overcome.” Fenton said confidently. He has seen a wide array of people walk through the doors of employment services at the Elizabeth Inn from people with master’s degrees, to those with more technological experience than he has, to even one of his own students. MUST has even sheltered a medical doctor recently. Fenton said he loves to watch people in the computer lab help each other with resume and jobs searches late into the evening. He attributes this willingness to MUST addressing a person in their entirety: physical and spiritual. “MUST gives hope,” he said. As a volunteer he doesn’t receive any monetary compensation, but to see people re-establish themselves and become stable once more in their professional, financial and personal lives is worth more than any routine paycheck. Why does Peter Fenton come back to help at the Elizabeth Inn every Tuesday and Thursday night? “To see people become whole again,” he said. “You don’t have to wait until you feel like you’re at a certain point in life in order to help. You just have to go and do.” In 2015, employment services helped 595 people find employment, putting $9.3 million back into the local economy. Employment services is currently at four locations in Cherokee, Smyrna, Marietta and the Elizabeth Inn Campus in Marietta. Several programs are offered such as OSHA certification for forklift operation and construction, ServSafe food handling, National Retail Federation for sales and customer service and SuperCrew landscape training. MUST Ministries is a faith-based, 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing services to persons and families in crisis while maintaining their dignity. MUST provides food, housing, employment and clothing for your neighbors in need. For more information, visit or  

Posted: July 13, 2016