AVC

Antelope Valley College and The People Concern are teaming up to assist homeless students. The potential housing for those students in need could be an apartment or a room for rent.

LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Community College District has joined The People Concern to provide support for students experiencing homelessness.

The People Concern will assist AV College with finding permanent supportive housing for students with children identified as homeless. The potential housing could be an apartment or room for rent.

“We’re particularly looking at those students that don’t fit the criteria for Valley Oasis or the Kensington Campus,” said Jill Zimmerman, dean of Student Life and Services for AV College.

Funding for the program, estimated to cost about $470,416, will come from a Homeless and Housing Insecure pilot program via the College Homeless and Housing Insecure Pilot program grant. The district received a three-year annual grant worth $700,000 earlier this year.

“It’s to try to prevent people from getting into the homelessness system to the point where they are utilizing resources beyond the housing resource,” Zimmerman said. “They become more dependent on the hospital and all of those kinds of circumstances. And certainly they’re not able to go to school.”

The People Concern will recruit landlords and property management companies to develop housing resources, The program is for up to 20 students at any one time.

“We’ve just come across too many students with children that have to be in a safe place for them to continue their education,” Zimmerman said. “That’s what The People Concern are going to be helping us with.”

The People Concern is the on-site supportive services provider at Kensington Campus, which provides permanent supportive housing and bridge housing for people experiencing homelessness.

The People Concern CEO John Maceri said the agreement with AV Community College District is the first of its kind with a college.

“A lot of this is housing navigation to be able to help identify new housing options for these students with children. The goal is to provides stable housing for these students so they can complete their education at the college,” Maceri said.

Maceri added all student referrals come from Zimmerman’s office. As long as students remain actively enrolled at AV College, they are eligible for the program.

AV College trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with the social service organization at its Sept. 14 meeting.

AV College also has a pilot program with the City of Lancaster and Antelope Valley Partners for Health to assist students experiencing homelessness. The program, A Place in Time, provides long-term housing for students in addition to supportive services to help facilitate their success.

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