Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Students Experiencing Homelessness

with Barbara Duffield, Marcy Stidum

About This Course

Homelessness among college students is a significant problem. Many young people experiencing homelessness recognize education as a primary pathway toward living wages and healthy, self-sufficient lives, yet they confront tremendous barriers to accessing and completing post-secondary education. This session will help student affairs professionals understand who is considered homeless under various federal laws; how to make the case for supporting homeless students on campus; where to get started or to build upon existing efforts; and legislative efforts to support students experiencing homelessness in higher education.

Student homelessness is a large and growing problem in both K-12 and higher education. At the post-secondary level, a 2016 study found that 8.7% of the California State University student population (approximately 41,170 students) experience homelessness at any given time. A national study found that at least 14% of community college students experience homelessness. These students face incredible barriers to accessing and completing post-secondary education, including lack of adult support, housing, health care, and food, as well as histories of trauma, abuse, and neglect.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of participating in this online learning community briefing, participants will be able to:

  • understand the education and the housing definitions of homelessness;
  • make the case for specific campus outreach and supports for homeless students;
  • identify and locate key partners on and off campus to meet the needs of homeless students; 
  • take first steps, or build on existing efforts, to improve services and supports for homeless students; and
  • understand specific federal and state legislative efforts to remove barriers and create opportunities for students experiencing homelessness.

Accessing the Presentation

Once you complete your registration, you will be able to access the course by clicking on the "Login" button at the top of this page (or any page on olc.naspa.org).

  • You will be asked to login with your NASPA user name and password. Once you have done so, you will hit continue and be redirected to your dashboard in the Online Learning Community.

  • You will find the session listed under "Enrolled."

  • This session is recorded. By clicking into, "Contents," you will find the session recording, resources, and PowerPoint slides. You may view the materials as many times as you'd like, at whatever pace you would like.

  • If you have any difficulty accessing the materials, please contact Jace Kirschner (jkirschner@naspa.org).

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