By John Plue
According to a survey conducted over the year of 2017 and released in 2018 by Hope Lab, “13 percent of Massachusetts community college students and 10 percent of state university students became homeless in the last year.” Hope Lab is based in Wisconsin and it “seeks to improve the lives of real college students by redefining the status quo, drawing attention to those ‘non-academic’ issues that are often overlooked whenever evaluating higher education and other social institutions.”
According to the Affordable Colleges online “many carry shame about their financial and residential circumstances. Common behavior may include being vague about where they live, sleeping in libraries, or living out of their cars.”
Massachusetts is working towards helping homeless students. Governor Charlie Baker announced a pilot program which will help 20 homeless students who attend community colleges or state universities. This help consists of providing them with housing, meals, and transportation. The program is available for students who are under 25 and are going to a school in Bridgewater, Lowell, Framingham, or Worcester. “I think that this would give those individuals a feeling of inclusion,” said Kasey Babbitt who is a junior.
In Fitchburg Massachusetts there are 78 temporary free shelters, a list can be found on the website Suntopia, which also has other services people can take advantage of. Andrew Gagnon, a senior, said: “They should have an on-campus housing for students who are homeless and use school funding to help support them.”