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Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative conducted Portland State University's first survey of students and employees on the scope of homelessness, housing insecurity and food insecurity on campus. The center also conducted a follow-up survey on the impact of COVID-19. The findings will be the first step toward a comprehensive plan that addresses students' basic needs.
If we have any hope of helping Portland and the region more broadly address homelessness, we must address it within our own campus community,
said Research Director Greg Townley. The survey was administered in the fall of 2019, and all students and employees enrolled or employed at PSU were invited to participate. A total of 3,511 students (15% of all students) and 1,017 employees (28% of all employees) participated in the survey, and findings revealed the following:
In addition to BIPOC students and employees, LGBTQ+ students and employees also reported high rates of housing insecurity, homelessness, and food insecurity, as did students and employees with disabilities and medical conditions. Transfer students, first generation students, and current or former foster youth also reported high rates of basic needs insecurity.
We conducted a follow-up survey of 166 students on their basic needs insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings should not be compared with the initial survey due to the substantial differences in the samples. Instead, these findings reveal how the pandemic impacted a small subset of participants:
If you or someone you know is experiencing hunger or homelessness, please use this list of resources to help. Please let us know if there are any additional resources to include.
(Created March 18, 2020. Last updated Sept. 18 2020).
Student emergency funds can help vulnerable students stay in school and reach their goals. Students in need can find out more at pdx.edu/dean-student-life/emergency-funds. Those who are able to donate to the emergency fund, can select a specific fund or a general one. Scroll to select your desired fund.
Portland State University students share their experiences of homelessness in order to help others and bring attention to student homelessness. About 16% of students experienced homelessness in the last year, according to the PSU Report, and 44.6% experienced housing insecurity.
The Hope Center's #RealCollege survey has reached more than 330,000 students at more than 400 colleges and universities over the last five years. Check out The Hope Center's national report to understand this crisis and how to address it on your campus. Thank you Hope Center for starting this movement.