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Homeless Students Guide

19 Sep 2019

When compared with peers from wealthy communities, homeless youth is definitely in a disadvantaged position. These young people hardly possess any resources that can provide them with stability and a powerful push into a better future. But there are still options, and even homeless youth can succeed in life. Good education which will result in well-paid employment is one of the most obvious ways to improve one’s economic status. Like never before, anyone who is motivated enough can get to college and secure the desired degree. Even without wealthy parents and several bank accounts, students can reach their educational goals due to numerous funds, scholarships, loan opportunities, and grants. Thus, in the age of opportunities, homelessness is not a death sentence, but just an obstacle to overcome.

Shocking Statistics

According to the report published by the PBS News Hour, more than 1.3 million students in the US public school system are homeless. The US Department of Justice reports an even greater figure: according to its findings, more than 1.7 million teenagers annually experience homelessness in the US. As some other researchers claim, it is challenging to clearly identify the exact number of homeless students in the US educational institutions because most of them feel ashamed of their status. They don’t want to be treated differently, so many of them simply hide the ugly truth from their peers and campus staff. Although the exact number of homeless students is hard to measure, the report published by the CBS News suggests there are more than 68,000 homeless college students alone.

Resources & Help for Students Facing Homelessness

Year-Round Housing


Campus Resources

This program based in Massachusetts have a housing program into which $120,000+ is poured on a yearly basis. They will help with housing, letting homeless youth stay with them during the entire year.

Established in Georgian Kennesaw uni also provides valuable housing assistance for the homeless. In the US, many states are now sponsoring colleges and universities by giving them money for organizing all-year housing for homeless students, and to know more about where you can apply in your specific situation, check the on-campus offers in your state/city.

Off-Campus Resources

This resource assists homeless young people as well as those of them who ran away from their families in finding housing, both long-term and short-term. It doesn’t have many requirements, so you have a good chance of finding help via it.

This program offers different ways of housing, such as permanent, transitional, and long-term ones. The requirements differ, so be sure to check them all: the likeliest option for homeless students wanting off-campus housing entails 24-month rent assistance.

This program is specifically deigned for foster youth, former or current ones. If you fit this criterion and struggle with finding permanent housing, be sure to check it out.

Online Resources

You can find a place for yourself here by sorting the choices by location or even communities. Free housing is unlikely to be found, but you can get a great deal by paying a minimal amount and staying at your new place for as long as you need.

In a similar way, you can locate cheap places for living here. The offered options are diverse and they’ll definitely help you find something near you, for the rate you can afford.

Food & Living Essentials


Campus Resources

This place can be found in Middle Tennessee State University, but many similar ones exist in other states and unis. This one provides students with food all year long by collecting donations and keeping its services open on the same stable schedule of Monday - Friday, operating from 8am until 4:30pm.

Twelve months of food assistance is provided by this food bank for homeless students who tend to go hungry. It’s located on the campus territory and it offers related services, so be sure to make an inquiry.

Off-Campus Resources

This program has launched numerous food banks in all possible states and cities. Check where you can get assistance: billions of meals are secured by this organization every year.

Food for homeless can be found in free soup kitchens that serve hundreds and sometimes even thousands of people in need. Find one based on your location and forget what intense hunger feels like.

Online Resources

Put your location in an online form provided on this site and find out which food pantry is closest to you. The menus will differ from place to place but your basic food needs will be met for sure.

Balancing Work & School


Campus Resources

This Floridian center helps disadvantaged students, including homeless and financially struggling ones, to maintain their studies and graduate. If you are lacking motivation, you can find it here because all people working at this center are professionals who understand the turmoil you are feeling.

Albany university offers similar services for its homeless students. International and even long-distance students can also receive a moral boost if they’re enrolled, so use this chance if you feel badly about doing many things at once and need encouragement at least from someone.

Explore all additional opportunities available on the campus territory of Frostburg, including advice and recommendations for finding a golden middle in which you can work, study, and rest in equal and satisfying amounts. Note that such centers can be found in practically every educational establishment, so make sure to check those near you.

Online Resources

Find useful and encouraging tips as well as other sources of motivation on this site. It might help inspire you to complete your studies successfully, without letting the tiredness from work hold you back.

Check seven essential tips for learning how to create a healthy balance between studies, work, and other aspects of life. It might assist you in finding stimulation and relief you need.

Depression


Campus Resources

Homeless youth are especially susceptible to depression, and you can find help centers in every uni location. For example, this place in Florida welcomes the youth who feel depressed and require help such as counselling.

Off-Campus Resources

Find help and people who will show you the care you need in this community. Even if you need immediate help, it’ll be available to you at the moment notice.

If you are struggling with substance abuse disorder, homelessness, and education at the same time, use the assistance provided by the resources introduced in this list. You deserve help as much as any other person, and people at the Substance Abuse Center for the homeless will never judge you: they’ll be patient and they will help you believe in yourself again.

Online Resources

This service helps LGBTQ students find their mental stability, and since many of them are disowned, homeless, and depressed because of it, this is the first choice for many of them. There is a tragic story of depression and death connected with this organization, so people working for it understand what you’re going through with painful clarity: contact them and you will receive the required assistance.

Check this list of counsellors who work specifically with homeless youth. There are other valuable resources offered here, too, so read info about each one and use them to your advantage.

Basic Medical Care


Campus Resources

This place, just like similar ones in most universities in the US, provides assistance for both mental and physical needs. As a student, even if you are homeless, you have every right to apply there and get yourself treated, especially if something urgent has happened.

This is where you can heal if you are a homeless student who has no one to take care of you. This hospital is located in Los Angeles, so if you aren’t from here, just find a similar one near you — these places, while small, are spread throughout America.

Off-Campus Resources

Established by medical students, this place will help homeless youth get basic medical help. Go to them if something happens or find a similar entity close to your location.

Just like with mental health services, you can find efficient basic medical help here even if you can’t afford it due to your status as a homeless person. Learn more by reading about this organization and if something threatens your health, don’t hesitate to contact it.

Online Resources

This is a great Maryland community that takes care of homeless youth by meeting their basic medical needs. Fulfilling them and staying healthy is vital, and here, particularly in Baltimore, you can find a range of quality services that will help you get back on your feet.

As a homeless resident of Boston, you can get assistance from this program. Oral health, respite care, primary care, etc. — all your essential needs will be met here, so just read about the services these people offer, contact them, and let them know what type of help you require.

Understanding One’s Rights & Overall Education Support


Campus Resources

If you are studying in this place and have any legal questions, you can always contact your office of student rights. While think link is for specific Californian students, you can easily find such offices in your own uni: just search for the specific address online or ask around because other students are likely to know it.

Any questions related to your rights and education can be resolved here. This is another example of the university's office for students that offers legal assistance and support, so use its services or look for those offered by your own educational establishment if you aren’t from Purdue.

Off-Campus Resources

If you need some help with figuring out your individual rights and understanding what you are eligible for, find contacts of your state representatives here. You can choose your state and see the list with address, phone number, email, and other contact details of people who will work for your benefit.

Regardless of the fact whether you’re still a child, a teenager, or a young adult, you can find help here if you are homeless and want to get an education. A special fund will become available to you — all you need to do to be eligible for it entails contacting the center’s representatives and telling them your story.

Online Resources

If you are homeless but didn’t enter a university yet, or if you are already a student and don’t know how to afford your education, be sure to apply for scholarship here. This organization helps young people who have urgent financial needs primarily.

If you’re homeless and unsure how to start your education, be sure to check the list of the tips provided on this site. There are many useful resources available to you, including organizational tools, learning styles, convenient and interesting book reading techniques, and mind maps, similar to ones that Sherlock and Hannibal used in their respective shows.

If you need legal assistance, use one of three lists presented on this site. They will help connect you with your local legal community’s representatives who specialize in the affairs of the homeless youth.

Why Students Face Homelessness and What They Experience

Overall, the US government defines homeless individuals as those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or live in shelters or other places that are not ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings. When it comes to homeless students, there can be many reasons why they become homeless. Some of them may come from homeless families. In the past, such students would not have access to a college education. Thankfully, nowadays they have many more opportunities, and a college education is one of the options from which they can benefit.

No matter why some college students end up being homeless, their status negatively affects their education-related outcomes, becoming a serious obstacle. Here are some of the hardships that homeless college students usually experience: