At Mesa Community College (MCC), there is a population of homeless students and the college is providing resources to student success while in school.
According to Student Life and Leadership, homelessness is a sensitive subject which many will not disclose. The percentage of homeless students on campus is hard to determine. According to the student government president, Erik Aguilar, they are here.
A 2016 survey by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Association of Community College Trustees showed there is 12 percent of students in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) without a home.
The study was broken down into different sections like being thrown out of a home (6 percent), being evicted (3 percent), living in a shelter (2 percent) and stayed in a location not meant as housing (4 percent).
MCC Homeless Student percentages on why they are living without a place to call home are represented in the chart above. Illustration: Faith Garland/MesaCC Legend
Scholarships and agencies assist impoverished students with money, food and clothes. Counseling services are available to help with education planning, career path, or a personal problem.
The Mesa Market is a campus food pantry in the KS building, just off the cafeteria. Students are allowed 10 food items and five hygiene products per week, as needed.
A United Food Bank grocery list ensures those with limited cash flow obtain their necessities. Twenty dollars guarantees they can choose any flyer items listed and new flyers come out every Friday.
“We also have food vouchers for students. ASMCC provides these food vouchers and student life takes care of them and houses them,” Erik Aguilar, president of the student government at MCC, said. Vouchers are given out twice a semester with an $8 value.
If students need clothes, student government hosts a clothing swap, where donations are welcome and those who need clothes can take what they need.
“Students and faculty can donate anything they don’t like and don’t want to use it again and students can grab whatever they need,” Aguilar said.
The Honors program offers them a $500 scholarship if they complete a project and a co-curricular activity. A homeless graduate just out of high school can apply for the President’s scholarship which pays for tuition.
The Student Financial Emergency Assistance Scholarship is an emergency scholarship payable only one time per semester, to bridge the financial gap with car repair, internet access and a bus pass.
Up to $500 can be awarded per student who need help in these areas that may prevent them from going to school or completing their degree and is only for those with serious financial need.
There is no specific scholarship for homeless students, but there are numerous scholarships out there students can apply for to aid their education.
Student Life and Leadership has been looking for ways to help any student with financial trouble. MCC tried to connect with the city of Mesa to create avenues for those with financial and/or living arrangement issues.
Faith Garland is a journalism student at Mesa Community College.