Students across California are preparing for the start of college, largely from the comfort of their parents’ home, due to the pandemic. Statewide, an estimated 2.4 million college students will receive their education remotely for the fall semester.
But what about students who have no home? They also have no family to offer free rent, free wifi and most importantly, emotional support and encouragement.
That was the case for Cody, a youth advocate at John Burton Advocates for Youth. After overcoming abuse and neglect as a small child, she entered foster care, was adopted then re-entered foster care at age 16 after her adoptive parents abandoned her.
Cody soldiered on, enrolling in Cosumnes River College and determined to make a life for herself.
Unfortunately, landlords aren’t paid in grit and determination, qualities Cody possesses in abundance. Instead, they require cash and after the loss of a job, Cody was homeless.
Last summer, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) advocated for the passage Assembly Bill 74, which included a $19 million annual state investment to reduce homelessness among college students.
Since then, we’ve stuck with the issue and are proud to report that the funding has been distributed to 30 campuses, including 14 community colleges, seven campuses of the California State University system, and all nine University of California campuses. Young people like Cody no longer have to struggle alone.
JBAY has been involved in each step of the implementation process of AB 74 and will remain involved by providing technical assistance to selected campuses. We don’t consider the job done until it makes a direct, meaningful, and measurable impact on the lives of youth.
The good news is that the AB 74 investment is doing just that.