City Colleges Adds Emergency Fund and Housing Coordinator to Comprehensive Set of Student Supports
According to a report released today by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University’s College of Education, 64% of the City Colleges of Chicago students surveyed expressed food or housing insecurity. City Colleges of Chicago’s Chancellor Juan Salgado unveiled the results as he introduced additional measures to address some of the challenges the city’s community college students face outside of the classroom, including an emergency fund and a dedicated housing coordinator.
The national survey found that 44 percent of the City Colleges students who responded to the survey were food insecure in the prior 30 days, 54 percent were housing insecure in the previous year, and 15 percent of respondents were homeless in the previous year. More than 3,000 students from the seven colleges participated in the survey, or six percent of the 47,000 students enrolled in the Fall 2018 semester. The #RealCollege Survey was created and administered by the Hope Center, led by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab—the nation’s leading expert on basic needs insecurity among college students—and yielded results similar to the center’s findings in other cities, states, and nationally.
“This survey confirms what we have observed – that many of our students are managing significant responsibilities and bravely facing food and housing challenges while they work hard to complete college,” said Chancellor Salgado. “We continue to expand our support services and work in close partnership with community resources to ensure our students can focus on their classwork, rather than meeting their basic needs.”
“Our partners at the City Colleges are working proactively to address food and housing insecurity among their students,” said Dr. Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director of the Hope Center and Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple University. “They deserve far more support from the city and the state of Illinois.”
City Colleges has launched an emergency fund for unforeseen, one-time crises, which is now available to students on a first-come, first-served basis. The fund is administered by the non-profit All Chicago and made possible by an anonymous donor. It seeks to aid students who face unexpected roadblocks that would otherwise keep them from completing their degree by providing students up to $750 per semester. City Colleges is also adding a new housing coordinator, made possible by a $70,000 grant from Chicago Community Trust, who will help connect students to housing resources within sister agencies and community-based organizations.