The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) awarded End Homelessness Californian as one of the organizations to provide housing and wraparound services for LACCD students in October 2021 through the Hope Housing initiative.
This grant was part of LACCD’s $1.5 million pilot program to provide housing for over 100 unhoused students.
“No student should be forced to choose between keeping a roof over their head and pursuing an education,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez said in a statement.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, enrollment at community colleges in California has dropped 20 percent. According to LACCD, 53 percent of their students live below or at the poverty line. A 2020 UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools report found that homelessness among California elementary, public university and community college students rose 50 percent over the last decade, which they largely attribute to the pandemic. The report also showed that 1 in 5 community college students are unhoused.
“In many ways, our students’ experiences are a microcosm of the challenges faced by millions of Californians, and that includes the issues of housing and homelessness,” Board President Gabriel Buelna said in a statement. “Too many of our students are housing insecure and have had their studies heavily impacted by the lack of a safe and quiet place to sleep and study.”
In addition to End Homelessness California, Jovenes, Inc., LACCD chose Los Angeles Room & Board, Optimist Boys Home and Ranch dba Optimist Youth Homes & Family Service and The Seed House Project to receive funding for student housing and wraparound services.
Hope Housing and the other organizations awarded with the grant will provide services beyond housing, as well, such as food, Wi-Fi and mental health support.