SJSU Cares Housing and Homeless Resources Explained

Photo: Brandon Chew, ’18 Photojournalism/ San Jose State University

Media Contacts:
Christine Hutchins, 408-924-1141, 650-644-9329, christine.hutchins@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, 408-799-3373, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SJSU Cares Housing and Homeless Resources Explained

100 Percent of SJSU Students Who Requested Housing and Homeless Resources and Remained Engaged with SJSU Cares Received Assistance

SAN JOSE, CA–Housing insecurity is a nationwide crisis affecting too many college students. A complex issue that is often interconnected with other concerns, including economic hardship, it can range from short-term to ongoing need.

To add to this complex issue, “housing insecurity” can be described as a spectrum. Housing insecurity could mean a student sleeps on her friend’s couch before the semester starts, a family that has been displaced by a landlord selling its property, or a person with longer-term needs related to job loss, divorce or separation, illness, addiction or mental health issues.

At San Jose State University, SJSU Cares was established as a resource and service to assist students who are confronted with situations and issues outside of the classroom that may negatively impact their academic success. Some of those services include housing/homeless resources, food insecurity, mentoring, counseling, health and wellness, and public safety assistance. There is a range of housing/homeless resources, including temporary emergency housing, financial assistance for housing, assistance with landlord issues and help to search for an apartment.

Not every student who is in need of temporary emergency housing wants or seeks on-campus living assistance. Temporary emergency housing assistance is not approached as a “one size fits all” service model. Every student matters and each student has unique housing needs. SJSU Cares begins services by assessing each student’s unique needs to understand the best approach toward sustainable housing and a comprehensive solution—rather than providing just “a bed.” It’s important to note that not all students facing housing insecurity utilize SJSU Cares. Many seek other resources outside of the university.

During the 2018-19 academic year, SJSU Cares received requests for various types of assistance from 189 students. Forty-four percent of the 189 SJSU Cares requests were for housing/homeless resources.

In each of these cases, SJSU Cares responses were aligned with the unique needs of students, as there is no single, uniform response to housing assistance needs. In cases when a student has revealed historical and ongoing financial hardships that affect their housing needs, SJSU Cares has provided solutions that involve more comprehensive interventions. The goal is to ensure students gain the necessary skills and resources to develop financial self-sufficiency and resilience.

By the Numbers

Among the actual services provided to the 189 students who contacted SJSU Cares during the 2018-19 academic year:

  • 53 students were granted additional financial aid grants through SJSU Cares with an average award amount of $1,107.
  • 21 students were awarded financial aid loans through SJSU Cares and 12 students accepted an average loan amount of $3,329.
  • 18 students were granted emergency assistance funds with an average award amount of $789.
  • 6 students received temporary emergency housing on campus with an average stay of 17.8 days.

In spring 2019, President Papazian stated that any student who is in need of temporary housing will not be turned away.

However, not every student who contacted SJSU Cares accepted services or resources. SJSU Cares strives for housing stability based on each student’s unique needs and their personal decision to utilize the services or resources offered. While SJSU Cares delivered temporary housing to some students based on immediate, short-term needs, they worked with other students to arrange loans or grants in an effort to facilitate long-term financial and housing stability.

Going Forward

As SJSU comes to understand the emergent challenges of student housing insecurity, the university is continually scaling its services and housing resources and is working to deliver those services as quickly as possible. The university also is expanding promotion of SJSU Cares so students are aware of it.

Anyone affiliated with SJSU who recognizes that a student is experiencing housing insecurity or other forms of economic crisis is encouraged to contact SJSU Cares directly by email at economiccrisis@sjsu.edu or by filling out the Request for Assistance online form. The SJSU Cares team is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to resolving students’ economic crises while building their financial efficacy and resilience.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges.

With approximately 36,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.