California’s high cost of living and limited housing availability poses many challenges for Californians, including California Community College students. Students facing housing insecurity and homelessness lack the stability, safety, and support they need to focus on and meet their educational goals, oftentimes putting their academic and career dreams aside due to an inability to meet this basic need.
Foster youth are especially vulnerable to the housing crisis, with approximately 4,000 California foster youth a year aging out of the system with no college or career support, leaving them more likely to struggle with low educational attainment, unstable employment, and homelessness. In 2019, a survey conducted by the The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice reported homelessness rates of 43 percent and housing insecurity rates of 82 percent among former foster youth, meaning they were experiencing challenges such as an inability to pay rent or utilities, not having a permanent place to stay, or needing to move often.
The Foundation’s Foster Youth Housing Project aims to address this need by laying the groundwork to build student housing for California community college students.