Homeless college students and their families got a $1 million boost Thursday from the San Diego Housing Commission to fund affordable housing projects and initiatives aimed at assisting San Diego families.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer was joined by Councilmember Todd Gloria and San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman to announce the first-of-its kind collaboration between the Housing Commission and SDSU.
The program will provide up to $1 million in rental assistance for up to 100 college students who have been homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. That money can be put toward funding for on-campus dorm rooms, shared housing or apartments.
The money will be available on Aug. 1, in time for the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. The students who will benefit are part of SDSU’s Guardian Scholar Program which helps youth who are aging out of the foster care system, under legal guardianship, are wards of the state or are homeless.
“Students should be focused on learning, not whether they have a place to sleep at night,” Faulconer said. “These funds will ensure that vulnerable students can pursue their education goals without worrying about how they’re going to pay for housing. By focusing on getting people into housing first and off the streets, we continue to make progress to end the cycle of homelessness one person at a time.”
Also announced was a pilot program by the Housing Commission that will assist 25 homeless families with at least one child attending The Monarch School — one of the only schools in the country that specifically serves homeless students.
“We are providing opportunities for students to get ahead in life,” SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry said. “I am thrilled that the San Diego Housing Commission has the flexibility to create cutting-edge programs that benefit our diverse homeless populations in the city of San Diego.”
The Housing Commission also awarded $10 million in new construction funds to create new affordable permanent housing with support services for homeless San Diegans.
“No San Diegan should have to call the street home and Housing First — San Diego is helping us address this critical challenge,” Gloria said.
The initiatives are part of the “Housing First — San Diego” three-year homelessness plan now in its second year.
— City News Service
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