The Los Angeles Community College District is using up to $1.5 million to fund a pilot program to provide housing for more than 100 homeless students.
The students will have access to a safe place to live, and receive food, WiFi and mental health support, college officials said in a news release.
“True equity in education is making sure we can level the playing field as much as possible and give all students an opportunity to access our colleges and succeed,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez said. “No student should be forced to choose between keeping a roof over their head and pursuing an education.”
The college district will be partnering with local non-profits to supply the housing and help students stay enrolled in college to graduate, officials said.
Some of the providers will also provide academic tutoring and financial counseling, as well as help with employment.
College officials said students have been impacted by the current economic conditions, with high rents and cost-of-living making housing insecurity an urgent concern.
“Too many of our students are housing insecure and have had their studies heavily impacted by the lack of a safe and quiet place to sleep and study,” LACCD Board President Gabriel Buelna said in a statement.
The L.A. Community College District is the largest in the U.S. and 53% of its student body lives at or below the poverty-line, according to college officials.
The new student housing agreement began on April 13, and will run for a year. The funding came from a one-time state budget allocation, according to the L.A. Community College District.
The Community College District Board of Trustees was able to vote to direct the funds to the pilot program after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring the college district to develop a program to provide affordable housing to its students and employees.
The bill was among other legislation signed by Newsom late last year to improve college affordability and increase access to higher education.