1 in 5 L.A. Community College Students is Homeless, Survey Finds

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One in every 5 of the Los Angeles Community College District’s 230,000 students is homeless, and nearly two-thirds can’t afford to eat properly, according to a new survey commissioned by the system’s board of trustees.

The first day of class at East Los Angeles College in 2012. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The study looked at students with unstable housing and ”food insecurity,” which is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as lacking enough to eat to sustain an active, healthy life.

Nearly half the L.A. community college students surveyed reported struggling with high housing costs. Of the 19% who said they were recently homeless, 8% reported being thrown out of their homes, 4% said they had been evicted, and 6% had stayed in an abandoned building, car or other location not meant for housing, the survey says.

Although college students nationwide face financial constraints that affect their nutrition, the study says, those enrolled at the L.A. district’s nine campuses fare worse than the national average. About 65% can’t afford balanced meals, and 60% are unable to buy more when their food runs out, the study says.

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