The idea in my mind of what homelessness looks like didn’t include this segment of the population. I spoke a few days ago to a young man who will be living out during the college summer break. He was homeless last summer and is preparing for another summer without a regular place to stay.I began researching and found homelessness among college students is a growing problem.

English: Students at Sheridan College

English: Students at Sheridan College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Palm Beach Post , “There are a number of structures in place to help homeless students in K-12, but fewer for homeless college students, said Jennifer Martin with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators” (Ross, 2012). The article reports an increase in Florida’s homeless students from 155 in 2006/07 to 638 in 2012.  Ross goes on to say that the homeless students range “…from a single mother staying in a shelter and taking college classes to better her life, to a high school grad…” These against all odds students are working hard to make things better for themselves.

NPR had this to say,”For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in.This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness.UCLA has created an Economic Crisis Response Team to try to identify financially strapped students and help keep them in school”(Hillard, 2010).The UCLA Team offers a list of on and off campus resources for students with financial difficulties.

Addressing this information, I would like to work to build a similar resource for students on other campuses. I will be entering  The Appalachian Ideas Network Contest at Berea College in April. I would like to incorporate a resource similar to the one being offered by UCLA. The idea for the contest will address homeless prevention and resource awareness. Feel free to comment with resource suggestions and other information.

Hillard, G. (2010, July 27). College Students Hide Hunger, Homelessness. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128778321

Ross, A. (2012, December 1). More attention, resources focusing on homeless college students as numbers rise. The Palm Beach Post.

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