As of 2019, about 19% of California Community College students were homeless. As COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States, students are now expected to learn from home via laptops, tablets, and computers. The question is, where are the homeless students going to go and will they have the equipment and space needed to keep up with their schoolwork.
Since nobody is currently using the on campus facilities, it would make sense for colleges to provide safe living spaces for homeless college students, especially because colleges are still charging full tuition.
“I think it [re-purposing college facilities] would be cool, I do think there should definitely be some prerequisites like being able to prove that you are homeless” , said Sergio Weekley a college student from Sacramento.
However, homelessness is not the only factor that can impede a students ability to learn. While 19% of students are considered homeless about 60% are considered housing insecure. Housing insecurity can range from having to move repeatedly to having an unsafe environment at home.
“I would like to say they should try to find a place for themselves to live but it’s not a perfect world and it’s difficult to just go out and find a place to live. Nobody is actually going to expect that of you, especially nowadays,” said Weekley.
Of course with any large housing project, security and safety are a major concern, especially with the current pandemic.
“I know that it would probably cost money but, let’s be honest, most people are already spending an arm and a leg on college in the first place. So they [Colleges] could afford to hire a nurse or two to check your temperature and screen you when you are coming in. At least most can. I don’t assume that every college is doing great… but I assume that a lot of them can,” said Weekley.
Hopefully colleges will be able to come up with a solution to help housing insecure and homeless students so they will be able to continue their education.