Hunger and Homelessness
Many people are surprised to learn that hunger, food insecurity, and homelessness are on the rise among college students across the country. These students are often called "disconnected" or "highly mobile" students, but most of them can be "connected" students with good supports and resources. Sometimes agencies think that if students are able to afford college, they must have enough money for food and shelter, but that is not always true. Family, medical, tuition, technology or other costs can cut into many students' budgets for food, or ability to find or maintain campus or off-campus housing.
We've started this page to help students find resources in their community.
Also consider checking out Addressing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity in Higher Education by Ronald E Hallett, Rashida M. Crutchfield, and Jennifer J. Maguire - the book includes sections on trauma in higher education.
Find a Food Pantry near you. Some pantries are skeptical about serving college students, but they will help you if you persist and explain your needs.
Swipe Out Hunger is a network of students and college administrators seeking to address student hunger together.
Many college students may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) . There are additional programs for people with disabilities as well.
Check with the Financial Aid office to see if they have any unused aid left for the term or year. Sometimes students drop out and leave aid behind.
Student with disabilities should seek additional aid for unmet medical or disability-related expenses.
See the NCCSD page on Paying for College for additional financial aid ideas.
Visit your school's Chaplain(s) or Spiritual Life Center to see if they offer events that include meals or food distribution. Catholic Newman Centers and Hillel (Jewish org) sometimes offer meal events; you don't have to attend their services to join their meals. Check out student organizations that have social, community, or religious events that offer meals.
Tips and strategies from College Guide for Homeless Students (note that this is hosted by a commercial site; you do not need to sign up to read the information)
National Homeless Shelter Directory - find temporary or permanent housing and services.
Health Care Services Directory from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council
Florida program for college students needing housing - The Southern Scholarship Foundation
There are two types of college students who face housing insecurity: those who entered school while homeless and those who became homeless while already in attendance.
Experiencing youth homelessness before entering college means students may be more comfortable accessing aid from social services. However, they may be unfamiliar with how to find and navigate the resources available through the school itself.
It's important for students with housing insecurity to learn more about the options available to them, such as financial aid and health care services.
Resources for College Personnel
The Hope Center at Temple University has been studying this situation for several years and has collected information and resources for college administrators and personnel. Read about their RealCollegeMovement campaign here.
NEW. Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Students’ Food Insecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Results from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium COVID-19 Survey