FSU Part of New Pilot Program to Help Students Facing Housing Insecurity

FSU Part of New Pilot Program to Help Students Facing Housing Insecurity

Jan 31, 2019

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced a series of new initiatives to combat youth homelessness during a press conference at Framingham State University on January 30th, including a program aimed at helping college students facing housing insecurity.

Joined by Framingham State University President F. Javer Cevallos, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH) Linn Torto, and Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago, the administration outlined how the Commonwealth will help connect homeless youth with education, employment, and housing supports and services.

“Our Administration has taken a targeted and intentional approach to addressing homelessness in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “The FY20 budget, released this month, continues our historic commitment to address youth homelessness with a $3.3 million investment which will help us develop a statewide system to prevent more young people from experiencing crises, and provide the necessary support if a crisis occurs.”

Framingham State University is one of four public universities partnering with local community colleges to provide dorm rooms to students facing housing insecurity. Under the Massachusetts Student Housing Security Pilot, Framingham State currently has five rooms in its residence halls occupied by three students from FSU and two students from MassBay Community College who are experiencing housing insecurity.

To participate students must be:                                    

  • Enrolled full-time in a public college or university participating in the pilot.
  • Degree-seeking and in good academic standing as defined by home institution.
  • Age 25 or younger.
  • Referred by campus staff or community service provider, or self-applied.

Campuses will be reimbursed by the state for the cost of the dorm bed occupancy for an 18-month period, for the remainder of fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2020, including all summer and semester breaks.  Campuses will cover the cost of providing meals and snacks for students, with support from local service providers where available.

“College life is challenging enough without having to worry about how you will pay for your next meal or where you are going to sleep at night,” said Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos. “The new housing security pilot is designed to eliminate this burden for our most vulnerable students so they can focus on earning their degree, which is the key to a financially-secure future.”

Across the United States, there are an estimated 1.7 million - 4.2million unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness.

“Preventing and ending youth homelessness is a top priority for offices throughout our administration,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our budget proposal for FY20 continues the highest commitment ever to address youth homelessness so that we can continue to intervene and work with local partners and leaders on college Campuses across Massachusetts to implement the type of support services needed for young people experiencing a crises.”

In Massachusetts, it is estimated that there are at least 1,800 young adults every year who experience homelessness. Among unaccompanied homeless youth, students who are enrolled in the state’s colleges and universities represent a population of unique interest and growing concern. 

“The $3 million in funding to ten community partners throughout the state will help youth and young adults with the supports they need to prevent or end homelessness,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services, and co-chair of the ICHH, Marylou Sudders. “Homeless youth and young adults should have the same opportunities provided to them as others to help them succeed. “

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.