Homelessness among college students is a significant problem. Many young people experiencing homelessness recognize education as a primary pathway toward living wages and healthy, self-sufficient lives, yet they confront tremendous barriers to accessing and completing post-secondary education. This session will help student affairs professionals understand who is considered homeless under various federal laws; how to make the case for supporting homeless students on campus; where to get started or to build upon existing efforts; and legislative efforts to support students experiencing homelessness in higher education.
Student homelessness is a large and growing problem in both K-12 and higher education. At the post-secondary level, a 2016 study found that 8.7% of the California State University student population (approximately 41,170 students) experience homelessness at any given time. A national study found that at least 14% of community college students experience homelessness. These students face incredible barriers to accessing and completing post-secondary education, including lack of adult support, housing, health care, and food, as well as histories of trauma, abuse, and neglect.
As a result of participating in this online learning community briefing, participants will be able to:
- understand the education and the housing definitions of homelessness;
- make the case for specific campus outreach and supports for homeless students;
- identify and locate key partners on and off campus to meet the needs of homeless students;
- take first steps, or build on existing efforts, to improve services and supports for homeless students; and
- understand specific federal and state legislative efforts to remove barriers and create opportunities for students experiencing homelessness.