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Lending a Hand

A 2017 study conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that 14 percent of all community college students are homeless. The survey included more than 33,000 students from 70 community colleges in 24 different states.


The issue of homeless college students has been an ongoing problem not just across the U.S. but also right here at LBCC. Vice President of Student Affairs Bruce Clemetsen acknowledged the problem and wants to continue to pursue solutions to help students in need.


“Our goal is to help you succeed in your education and we know it takes a lot of different resources in a lot of different ways to have people do that and it’s complex,” said Clemetsen.


“To have somebody to help figure that out, ask the good questions, help you plan, and realize some things you didn’t know before. Figuring out how to balance school with how you’re living is important because we don’t know all of that on our own.”


Clemetsen also suggested that homeless students could put together a club or group that provides insight to the college.  


“Some homeless students could talk to the dean of students or director of inclusion and student engagement and find a way to form a club or a group,” said Clemetsen.


“That group could meet and help interface with those of us in the college that are trying to find a way to help. That would be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn and keep things going and support one another.”


Clemetsen encourages homeless students to contact his office in Takena 107 behind admissions and sign up to be a part of a meeting with an affordability task force. The task force is looking to learn more about homelessness from students and find better solutions.


Students looking for assistance from the local area can check, a database that categorizes resources by need and location. 211info also has Oregon Helps, a free pre-screening service that can filter out programs and assistance that someone could be eligible for. Visit for more information.


The Community Services Consortium (CSC) Resource Guide is another useful tool in finding local resources near you. It contains an alphabetical list of contact information for all the organizations in the local area that can assist with clothing, housing, food, and more. Some of the organizations in the CSC resource guide are not available on You can find the guide on CSC’s website at community


Students can also look on campus for assistance.


The Linn-Benton Lunchbox, a confidential food assistance program located in Forum-120 on the Albany campus, can provide help for food insecure students. Students are allowed to request two days worth of food twice per term and assistance from the Lunch Box does not interfere with a student’s ability to get food boxes from other organizations.


Family Connections, another on-campus resources at LBCC, can help students find childcare or parenting resources. Parenting students at LBCC who are 24 years old or younger are eligible for additional assistance. Contact Family connections at or call 541-917-4901.


Additional on-campus resources and other lists of local resources are available at LBCC’s advising center in Takena Hall room 101. Advisors in the advising center are also often connected as counselors or could assist students by pointing them in the right direction. They provide academic, well-being, and career advising.


Students who are enrolled at least half-time may be eligible for SNAP food benefits by fulfilling certain requirements. To see qualifications and to apply visit The campus store is now a SNAP eligible food vendor.


Students looking for help are encouraged to be upfront and unafraid to share their situation when looking for housing. Though it is frustrating to be put on a waiting list for certain resources, sign up anyway. Even if you don’t get what you need immediately, you are still on the list meaning you will get help sooner rather than later.


If something isn’t available at one organization, make sure to ask where you could go instead because community organizations are often well-connected to others. Students should also call or email an organization before making a trip somewhere for help because sometimes assistance is only offered at certain times or there may be limits on spots and supplies.


Housing Assistance







Local Shelters in Linn and Benton Counties


Linn County:




Benton County:






For more organizations and information be sure to look at, check the CSC Resource Guide or stop by the Advising Center.  

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