WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Valley College has received a $226,000 grant to help homeless students over the next two years with access to everything from laundry facilities and showers to food and technology.
The grant is one of eight awarded across the state through a pilot program, Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness, approved by the state Board for Community and Technical Colleges, according to a Tuesday news release.
The program assists homeless students and students who were in foster care when they graduated high school.
The college doesn’t have a specific number of students identified for the program because homeless students and foster youth often do not self-identify, said Libby Siebens, a WVC spokesperson.
“To help quantify the need in our service district, we surveyed students through the Real College Survey (created by the Hope Center) prior to start of the pandemic,” she said.
The survey showed:
- 40% experience food insecurity
- 47% experience housing insecurity
- 20% experience homelessness
“Based on the level of need we qualified to apply for funding,” Siebens said.
As part of the program, students can receive help with access to:
- Laundry facilities
- Storage, locker room and shower facilities
- Reduced-price meals or meal plans, and access to food banks
- Short-term housing or housing assistance, especially during seasonal breaks
- Case management services
Colleges must also provide information to homeless students on various community resources that could help.