By Luis Diaz
ELAC student Fernando Gomez is fighting for stable housing for students in the LACCD.
Gomez became homeless about a year ago when his mother passed away. He lost his job and apartment shortly afterwards.
He is trying to get more support systems that would help students in the same situation.
“Honestly, what ELAC lacks is a housing coordinator,” said Gomez.
“When I was searching for a place to stay, all I got was a list of places to call and that’s it,” said Gomez.
Gomez had it tough. He ate at school and slept at the El Monte Station. He was scared someone might steal his textbook or laptop. Now, Gomez is on a mission to be able to create more support systems and resources that can help students not be alone.
“I have a friend that is a DACA student, and I found out that her parents got deported and it’s shocking you know. To find out things happen like that to people you know, because then the question arises how many more students are out there dealing with issues like mine,” said Gomez.
“L.A. is out of control when it comes to housing. You can’t live here in L.A. by just having one job,” said Gomez.
Gomez wants to work with nonprofits and be able to help students have guidance through difficult times.
“The Career Center at ELAC is the only resource that is able to provide students with help in finding a job and building a resume but I feel there is room for more,” Gomez said.
“By being able to bring more resources to ELAC and LACCD, I feel students will be able to have guidance and a support system that I didn’t have, grades can start declining and you aren’t all there mentally,” said Gomez.
“Resources should be offered in the community and at ELAC because it keeps us much tighter as a community, rather than sending you off to Hollywood or far away places,” Gomez said.
COVID-19 had a huge impact on students, leaving them with questions of what to do next, especially those that were affected by job lay-offs or one of their parents passing away.
“Beside the resource that I want to fight and bring to ELAC, money is also something that is a key factor, without money the world doesn’t move, and it’s sad but true,” Gomez said.
Gomez is now stable once again and can focus on his education. “This goes to show that getting an education is the only way to go,” Gomez said.
Gomez will speak at the California Department of Rehabilitation District meeting. He will focus on increasing awareness to the homeless situation.