Fighting youth homelessness on the Canyons doorstep

by Cougar News Contributor 119 views0

Finding refuge on a friends couch or in a car is a form of homelessness that can be tackled on campus, Health and Wellness representatives say.

To students or strangers, the Health and Wellness Center, or HWC, provides the quintessential resources for survival in one backpack, access to food and offers resources to find housing and employment.

The Associated Student Government, or ASG, calls to teach students about homelessness and its many forms, along with arming them with the knowledge of the aforementioned resources with events such as “Youth Homelessness”, coordinated late February.
ASG Executive Canyon Country Representative and event coordinator Andrew Rodriguez sought to address youth homelessness and to reintroduce the HWC as a place for people to go when they could use the extra assistance.

The Health and Wellness center recently brought on Case Manager Silvie Faust to help identify and combat student homelessness on campus.

“My job is to make sure that kids have all the resources that they need, from advice to job listings,” Faust said. The program offers assistance to everyone who walks through the door.

Since Faust began her work as case manager, she has seen a strong number of students utilizing the services provided in the office, including their own food pantry, called “Food For Thought” used regularly.

“We get an average of four to five students in need of services daily,” Faust said.

The ASG coordinated event, “Youth Homelessness” encouraged the donation of 50 additional supply backpacks to the Health and Wellness Center from an Encino based non-profit organization called “Hope Meal”.IMG_1144

The HWC works closely with multiple local non-profit organizations including the following:

“Help the Children”, a program designed to offer anyone in the SCV area food and supplies; The program has already helped over 39,000 families since it opened in 2002.
“Bridge to Home”, an SCV shelter located at the end of Drayton Street off of Railroad Avenue and open from November 25th through March 15, 6pm to 8am daily.
“‘L.A. Family Housing’, a program helping families transition out of homelessness and poverty …” Faust said. “… through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services.”
And “RENEWAL”, a Real Life Church program in partnership with “Bridge to Home” offering hot meals and resources every Monday and on every second and fourth Monday offering showers and haircuts at 6pm to 8pm at 23780 Newhall Avenue.

Students can contact Foust to receive food from the “Food For Thought” pantry or other resources by making an appointment at the Health and Wellness Center or by calling 661-362-3183.

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