Sacramento News and Review: University of the streets

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Many California college students are struggling to find a stable home.

Within the past year, one in 20 UC students, one in 10 CSU students and one in five community college students have reported some form of homelessness, said California Homeless Youth Project Director Shahera Hyatt. Hyatt blamed this in part on the lack of affordable housing in the state, including Sacramento. The capital city has also seen some of the country’s highest rent increases in recent years, Hyatt added.

“I live in Midtown Sacramento, and my rent has increased $350 a month over the last two years,” Hyatt said.

Some temporary resources for homeless students are offered at Sacramento State University. Danielle Muñoz, the university’s student affairs case manager, coordinates the Emergency Housing Program, which gives students 30 days to stay in residence halls with beds, laundry supplies and a meal plan.

Those students must be enrolled in at least six units. Students with semester parking permits “can be issued an overnight parking permit at no additional cost,” Muñoz said in an email.

This comes in light of Assembly Bill 302, revised May 16, which would require community colleges to let homeless students sleep in their cars in on-campus parking facilities. Hyatt cited the bill as a potential “harm-reduction strategy” that could give students better access to homelessness resources.

Assemblyman Marc Berman, a Palo Alto Democrat who introduced the bill, said it “passed out of the Assembly with tremendous bipartisan support.” The Senate Education Committee will vote on the bill “in the coming weeks,” he added.