SANTA MONICA—A Santa Monica homeless shelter, created to house college students, will reo-pen to address the large percentage of hungry and homeless college students in the county.
The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees indicated that more than 60 percent of students in the district go hungry, and one-in-five are homeless. Nationwide, the Wisconsin HOPE Foundation revealed that 46 percent of college students do not have consistent housing and 13 percent are homeless.
The week before Thanksgiving is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and as the season of giving begins, organizations strive to mitigate the issues that thousands of students face in the United States.
The only shelter of its kind in the nation, the Students 4 Students Shelter, also known as the Bruin Shelter, provided emergency housing and resources to UCLA and Santa Monica City College students. Headed by WNMS Communities, Michael W. Folonis Architects and the MAS Construction Group, the shelter is set to open later this week, with an official dedication on Sunday, December 3 at 9 a.m., the Santa Monica Lookout reported.
The shelter opened in October 2016, but was closed in April 2017 to renovate and obtain a Minor Use Permit.
“Students 4 Students (formerly “Bruin Shelter”) is the first shelter in the nation to exclusively serve homeless college students. Founded, managed and staffed by UCLA students under the guidance and support of an experienced Advisory Board and dedicated faculty advisors, S4S meets the basic needs of homeless college students from all area schools, while connecting them with resources to finalize post-shelter housing plans and a path to graduation,” states the organization’s website.
Mount Olive Lutheran Church has assisted Students 4 Students in providing housing for students in need.
Officials told the Santa Monica Lookout that the shelter is also the second homeless shelter in the nation to be run by college students.
The construction renovations, which cost about $40,000, were done pro bono. City fees for the project totaled about $18,000 and were paid by funding from the Los Angeles City Council.