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Widespread Homelessness Among College Students

WHEREAS, each year more than a million young people in the United States experience homelessness. Some of these young people, known as unaccompanied homeless youth, will face the challenge of living on their own without the support of a caring adult; and,

WHEREAS, a new study, the largest national study assessing the basic needs security of university students, by Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab found more than a third of college students can't always afford to eat or have stable housing; and 

WHEREAS, the report focused on 43,000 students at 66 institutions, 31 community colleges and 35 four-year universities in 20 states and Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, the report found that homeless college students devote as much time to the classroom and to studying as do college students who are not homeless. However, they also work more, commute more, spend more time taking care of other people, and they sleep less; and

WHEREAS, many unaccompanied homeless youth have higher education aspirations, but find the barriers to enrollment and attendance to be overwhelming; and

WHEREAS, to combat this trend, an initiative has been proposed that would provide housing scholarships to students in undergraduate colleges and universities who self-report as homeless; the program would give these students aid in paying for off-campus housing, which would allow for these students to attend a university without the worry of finding funding for housing; applicants would be required to get a Homeless Status Certification from the Secretary of State Driver Services department and be full-time students.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP urges all State Legislatures to adopt and fund a program that provides housing scholarships to college students that are registered as homeless and to include funding for this program for every public university in the state; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NAACP units are encouraged to email (or send by other means) a copy of this resolution to the state legislatures and all boards of trustees of public universities within their respective jurisdictions.