At universities nationwide, homelessness is having an impact on student retention rates, which affects students’ ability to matriculate and earn a college degree.
According to the Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS) Office in the Division of Student Affairs, some UNC Charlotte students are experiencing housing insecurity, with some reporting living in their cars or couch-surfing at the homes of friends and family members.
To assist those students, SASS and the Office of Housing and Residence Life have partnered to create an on-campus housing solution for students displaced from homes/apartments or who are experiencing a significant housing crisis.
The Student Emergency Housing Program (SEHP) was developed to address reported barriers to students’ personal and academic success. The program is not a substitute for a long-term housing, but it does provide short-term emergency housing for up to 60 days for $35 a night. Maple Hall will be used for the program.
Larry Gourdine, associate dean and director of SASS, stated, “Having the Student Emergency Housing Program at UNC Charlotte shows a commitment to be a part of addressing how housing insecurity is affecting our students. The University is dedicated to and invested in the long-term and short-term success of our students, and the SEHP is a way for us to remove barriers that could impact a student’s ability to be successful.”
To be eligible for SEHP, students must be enrolled at UNC Charlotte and demonstrate that they have exhausted all other financial aid options.
Appropriate documentation must be provided exhibiting a student’s emergency or crisis situation. Emergencies or crises include, but are not limited to: house/apartment fire or flooding; sleeping in a car or any place that is not a residence; sleeping on a friend’s couch; having to move from a residence without a place to live and temporarily staying with family or friends.
Students must be able to pay the $35 per night housing charge.
“My hope is that the SEHP reaches the most vulnerable of our student population that needs support during a critical time in their lives,” said Gourdine. “Leadership within the Division of Student Affairs is continuing to explore ways to expand SEHP to reach a greater number of students who face housing insecurity.”
More information is on the Student Assistance and Support Services website.