By Steven Adamo
Homeless students within the Los Angeles Community College District are on the rise according to survey results reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The survey was authored by Hope Lab, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, along with the Association of Community College Trustees.
According to the Times’ article, both groups suggested that LACCD campuses make showers available to homeless students and offer additional help for them to receive the resources that are already available to them.
On our campus, there are few resources available to students.
Assembly Bill 801, or the “Enacts the Success for Homeless Youth in Higher Education Act,” went into effect in January.
The bill allows an employee of the Financial Aid office to serve as a Homeless and Foster Student Liaison.
AB 801 gives students under the age of 25 (who are formerly from foster care or are currently homeless) priority in registration and enrollment.
Students unable to fill in the address portion of the application will be considered a “non-resident.”
“In order to obtain resources available, students who are currently homeless must register at a shelter before enrolling,” Kristen Mercado, Administrative Secretary of the Student Services office.
Student Health Center coordinator Cecilia Cruz is one of the members who created the Behavioral Intervention Team over the summer.
The BIT meets twice a month to discuss cases that have been filed by East Los Angeles College staff.
According to Cruz, the team is contacted if students are a danger to themselves or others.
During the meetings, members discuss different courses of action to help connect students in need with resources available to them that they may not be aware of.
Beginning in January, Administrative Regulation S-15 made shower facilities on all district campus open to all students who are currently enrolled and are in good standing with their college.
More information on shower availability can be found in the Student Services office at E1-213.
In a study conducted by Amy Dworsky, Ph.D., and Mark Courtney, Ph.D., they concluded that youths aging out of foster care are at high risk for becoming homeless during the transition to adulthood.
“Between 31 percent and 46 percent of our study, participants had been homeless at least once by age 26 years,” Dworsky and Courtney said.
Created January of last year, the Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Education Support connects students aging out of foster care to the resources they need for their education.
“In many cases, students might not have strong family support systems, but the program’s pathways help us ensure students are on the right path with manageable course loads, financial aids and the like,” Danelle Fallert, dean of Student Services, said.
More information on the CAFYES program can be found by contacting Danelle Fallert in the Student Services office.
An app developed by Our Children LA allows people to locate food, shelter, health/mental health, education, crisis support, hotlines, drop-in centers, transportation, legal assistance, job supports and government benefits.
More information can be found at: https://www.ourchildrenla.org/win-app/.
Another local resource is People Assisting The Homeless Mall.
It is located at 340 N. Madison Ave. in Los Angeles and gathers a variety of homeless services into one place, making it easier for people to get the help they need without having to travel all over town.
The closest shelter to ELAC is the Salvation Army in Bell.
Their phone number is 323-263-1206. There’s also the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles and their phone number is (213) 680-0600.
For more information on on resources available, contact the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority at (213) 683-3333 or https://www.lahsa.org.