WESTWOOD—UCLA mechanical engineering students, Louis Tse and Luke Shaw are looking to open a non-profit, student-run shelter on campus, which will service homeless people, ages 18-24 at a nearby church.
Tse, who gave up his UCLA apartment, to live in his car in order to fund the shelter for “those who are not homeless by choice,” plans to open up the shelter by fall 2017.
Although both, Tse and Shaw are preparing to receive their doctorates, they’ve decided to take this semester to recruit fellow students for non-profit work at the shelter. Other preparations being made are purchasing materials and fundraising money for the project, according to Daily Bruin.
Los Angeles recently declared a state of emergency on homelessness last year. A local survey, conducted by the Westwood Community Council has surveyed at least 32 homeless people in the area surrounding the UCLA campus.
“UCLA could be the perfect place to create shelter for the homeless. It has a medical school of its own and is a resource-rich ecosystem,” states Shaw to the Daily Bruin.
Canyon News has contacted Louis Tse, but no information regarding the church, which will house the homeless next year, has been confirmed.
There are currently 10 members on the shelter’s Advisory Board, including Mick Deluca, UCLA’s Assistant Vice Chancellor.
According to the Daily Bruin, Tse and Shaw indicated the shelter will cost $25,000 each year, including operational costs. Tse hopes other forms of donations can be made in the future, in forms of grants and alumni donations.
Canyon News reached out to UCLA spokesperson Rebecca Kendall, but did not hear back before print.
“They are just like us, but more vulnerable. We are economically privileged, so it’s our duty to help them,” said Tse to the Daily Bruin. His goal is to get other students involved in the project.