On November 2, 2017, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) hosted a Basic Needs Workgroup to address the issues of food insecurity and housing insecurity for Community College students across the state. This full-day meeting was held in Sacramento and included representatives from Skyline College, Mission College, Saddleback College, the Los Angeles Community College District, Imperial Valley College and Santa Monica College, as well as representatives from the state Chancellor’s office, Foundation for California Community Colleges and the John Burton Advocates for Youth.

Student homelessness and student hunger are major issues in our region, as well as across the state. Recent research like the Wisconsin HOPE Lab report “Hungry and Homeless in College” , has drawn national media attention to this topic, which has influenced state-wide policy, but the Chancellor’s office continues to push for more support for at-risk populations (Hunger Free Campus Funding and Assembly Bill 801 are just two of the major changes that have been implemented year). The CCCCO approved a new initiative that includes the formation of a workgroup to identify and share best practices regarding food, housing, and other basic need resources available to students, to assess gaps in resources. The colleges invited to the workgroup were selected for their “distinct contributions at their campuses – what they are doing is ahead of the curve”. SparkPoint at Skyline College is proud to have been selected to join this cohort and discuss best practices, data, policy and systemic barriers.

The next steps for this Workgroup will be to support and present at a 2-day Spring Basic Needs Summit, which will take place in Sacramento in late April, 2018. Representatives from all of the California Community Colleges will be invited to attend, so that they can bring information back to their colleges and impact their local communities.

For more information regarding the SparkPoint at Skyline College, the Food Pantry or the Benefits Office, please contact the SparkPoint front office at 650-738-7035 or skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu

For more information about the California Basic Needs Workgroup or Spring Basic Needs Summit, please contact the Director for SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, Chad Thompson, at thompsonc@smccd.edu

Article by Chad Thompson

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