College students have a number of barriers that can deter them from completing college.
The student housing crisis is one of those many factors.
The situation has gotten worse with students having to resort to crashing with friends, sleeping in cars, or having to consider living on the water.
And with the passing of Senate Bill 330, the Los Angeles Community College District has been developing a housing program to help both low-income students and employees.
But Pierce College needs to do more to curb the housing crisis.
According to the LA Times, “an estimated 417,000 students lack stable places to sleep,” with 20% of community college students accounting for the survey.
In an article by the East Los Angeles College Campus News, “as many as fifty-five percent of LACCD students currently experience housing insecurity, and nineteen percent experienced homelessness at some point during 2020.”
So far, $327,777 has been allocated to Student Food and Housing of Pierce’s General Fund in the proposed LACCD Final Budget for 2023-2024. Valley College however has allocated more than $400,000 in the same proposed budget.
Pierce could be doing more.
According to the Pierce website, there are resources to help students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurities. However, locations regarding the Shower of Hope Housing Program are nonexistent in the San Fernando Valley.
So what can Pierce do?
It could set up a small parking lot that acts as a Safe Parking Space for students living in their cars for a small fee.
It can think about repurposing the Village to become an actual village where students in need can live.
It can even consider using the more than one million dollars on refurbishing cross country to build dorm rooms.It’s tonal whiplash to hear California set to become the 4th largest economy while students are struggling to find a roof over their heads. Pierce can be the trailblazer that the LACCD needs to kickstart a housing program that helps more than just Pierce students.