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 211info.org, 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 211info.org/OregonHelps 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 211info.org. You can find the guide on CSC’s website at community service.us.
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 email@example.com 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 oregonhunger.com/snap-for-students. 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.
- The Albany Partnership for Housing and Community offers affordable housing at four properties in Albany and work to provide supportive services to all residents. Located at 2078 SE 5th Ave, Albany their phone number is 541-926-5451 visit their website at albanypartnership.org.
- Community Services Consortium also has some housing options. They provide emergency assistance for move-in costs and security deposits. They also have a Second Chance Renters Program, a workshop that helps renters overcome bad credit and poor rental history. The program provides a certificate of completion and a letter of recommendation to give to future landlords. Visit their website at communityservices.us for more information. You can also contact their Linn County office located at 250 Broadalbin St. SW, Suite 2A in Albany at 541-928-6335 or contact their Benton County office at 545 SW 2nd St, Suite A in Corvallis at 541-752-1010.
- FISH Guest House located at 1880 Hill St SE in Albany is for women ages 18-25, who are students seeking employment or working. Application is required visit their website at fishofalbany.com, contact them at 541-928-4460, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Linn-Benton Housing Authority aims to improve the quality of life in Linn and Benton Counties by providing affordable housing. Contact them through their website for section 8 housing assistance at l-bha.org.
- Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services offers low income apartment housing options for those who are looking for it. Visit their website at w-nhs.org for more information.
Local Shelters in Linn and Benton Counties
- Albany Helping Hands at 619 SE 9th Ave, is open seven days, check-in is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also offers three meals daily.
- Signs of Victory is located at 1100 Jackson St. SE, Albany 97322. Walk-in, open seven days from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. meals are provided while supplies last, and families are welcome.
- Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center is a Walk-in shelter open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and they serve any gender and age, located at 602 SW Madison Ave in Corvallis.
- Corvallis Men’s Shelter at 211 SE Chapman Place, Corvallis is another walk-in shelter that is open 7 days a week from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. It’s for males ages 18 and up.
- Community Outreach Inc, located at 865 NW Rieman St. in Corvallis. They provide shelter, counseling, some medical services, support, and referral. Contact them at 541-758-3000 or visit their website at communityoutreachinc.org.
- Room at the Inn at 1166 NW Jackson Ave, is a walk-in open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is for female-identified adults ages 18 and up. Children and pets are not allowed and showers are available.
For more organizations and information be sure to look at 211info.org, check the CSC Resource Guide or stop by the Advising Center.