Addressing Student Homelessness and Hunger

Topics: Student Retention and Success, Special Populations, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Student affairs administrators have expressed alarm at the growing number of homeless and hungry students on their campus. This research brief profiles six institutions and their strategies to address homelessness and hunger.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Contacts agree that homelessness and hunger are increasingly common at their respective institutions.

    2. Risk factors for homelessness include a history in foster care, low personal or family income, non-legal immigration status, and LGBT identify.

    3. Institutions attempting to address homelessness and hunger establish a centralized position or office to manage resources and services.

    4. One-on-one intervention through a casework or coaching model is the most effective method for addressing homelessness.

    5. Most unique and innovative homeless and hunger programs are “home-grown” by campus staff.

    6. Most profiled institutions maintain food pantries accessible by needy students, staff, and faculty.