learn / 2021
Hope Housing for Students
Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by End Homelessness California DBA the Shower of Hope
For so long, the story of LA has been of inequity and poverty for marginalized communities; the lifelong solution to breaking these cycles of marginalization is education and independence. Hope Housing for Students works towards fostering educational equity for community college students who are either experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. We not only provide housing for these students, but also a nurturing environment where we mold the future civic, business, & cultural leaders of Los Angeles.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- County of Los Angeles
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
The quest for educational justice often focuses on bringing resources and voices to our 4-year university system, our community colleges represent the most immediate way to help close the education and wealth gap. Sadly, the amount of attention and resources for community colleges are lacking. For many students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, community college represents the chance of leaving behind a life of poverty and contributing to the social, cultural, and economic life of our city; we believe in investing and building up resources for these students to fully see their true potential. Through our Hope Housing for students initiative, we have built partnerships with Community Colleges in Los Angeles to find students who are suffering from homelessness or housing insecurity, develop housing solutions for them, and focus on a wide ranging program to aid in mental health, nutrition, and academic support so that these students build a life and contribute to our city.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Hope Housing for Students provide housing opportunities for community college students experiencing either homelessness or housing insecurity, and provide them not just a roof over their head, but full suit of programs to best aid students in succeeding. Our strategy is to give these students a comfortable and safe environment and the tools to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. With our Mental Health Director overseeing both group therapy and individual sessions for all students, and also develop programs to provide a holistic approach to help students understand how best to live & thrive independently. Approximately 2/3 of our students are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Currently, there are two residences that have been established by Hope Housing, with 22 beds in total. Our aim is to provide a whole curriculum that includes meditation & yoga, financial planning, sustainable living, self-defense & training, community building, healthy eating among many others. We nurture character building as a twin component for educational success. By creating future leaders who have been from historically marginalized communities, we change the story of LA to be one of equity and justice.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
These future leaders have the lived experience to help shape a more equitable and just LA society. A society that does not judge based on poverty or identity, but has equal opportunity for all is a different LA than the one that has been experienced by many on the fringe. With resources in place, we hope to be a model for policy makers and civic leaders at a larger level. We believe that a successful investment into our program can provide valuable lessons to build a more creative, livable, and economically mobile city in which all marginalized communities will have equal access for every Angeleno. We firmly believe this is a promise from us in the present to the future.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
With two semesters into the program, we have tracked an extensive array of metrics that have gone beyond our initial expectations for success. Two students were accepted in 4-year institutions while one student who arrived with a 2.7 GPA achieved a 3.7 GPA in both the Fall and Winter Semesters. We believe that investing in student housing and supportive programs would lead to increased participation rates in school and increase overall GPAs. We had expected average GPAs to increase by .5; after the first semester, the average GPA of program participants went from a 2.7 to a 3.5 with 72% of all units that students took passing. Our aim is to have all students either enroll in a 4-year University program after graduation from their community colleges, or enter into a trade position with long term employment opportunities. The early numbers indicate how vital stable housing, mental health services, and life coaching offered through our program have positively impacted these students.
Which of the learn metrics will you impact?
- College matriculation
- Community college completion
- Suspension and expulsion rates
- Housing affordability
- Healthcare access
- Mental illness
- Access to mental health services
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE