Dear campus community,
San José State University is committed to supporting the academic and personal wellbeing of our students. Many of you may have seen the recent news coverage regarding homelessness and food insecurity among our student population. The leadership team is keenly aware of this issue. Affordable housing and food insecurity are serious concerns here on campus; these issues span the entire Bay Area region and beyond. Ongoing and systemic solutions are needed. SJSU looks forward to continuing to partner with our students, the city of San Jose, county of Santa Clara, community organizations and members collectively to address these issues for the long term.
With the winter months directly ahead of us, we take this time to send a reminder of the many resources SJSU provides. We have been proactively addressing issues of homelessness and food insecurity on campus through an initiative called SJSU Cares, which offers individualized support by connecting students experiencing economic crisis, housing or food insecurity to a number of resources.
In addition to recently opening a new residence hall, bringing the total number of beds on campus to 4,200, and plans to add up to 900 new beds on campus in Campus Village 3 in the coming years, SJSU Cares offers:
- Temporary emergency housing available on campus.
- Support connecting students to off-campus housing assistance
- Assistance from the financial aid office on funding flexibility.
For more information regarding SJSU Cares housing and homelessness resources, please visit the SJSU Cares website.
Specific to addressing food insecurity, contributions from donors at our recent Inspiration to Innovation gala and associated crowdfunding effort resulted in more than $40,000 being raised for the Student Hunger Fund, and we haven’t stopped there. The opening of a 1,000-square-foot permanent food pantry next semester, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, also will contribute to a long-term solution. Furthermore, a food insecurity fund, with an established value of $10,000 per academic year, has been established in partnership with Chartwells for in-kind contribution of food services. In addition, SJSU Cares offers the following food and hunger resources:
- To date, 21 “Just in Time” mobile food deliveries have been made in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, resulting in more than $430,000 in food and sundries reaching students in need.
- Assistance to help students sign up for the state’s CalFresh program, a monthly cash supplement for buying groceries.
For more information regarding SJSU Cares food and hunger resources, please visit the website.
We welcome input from our students and members of our community at large as we continue to engage in these pressing issues. We will continue to work with stakeholders on and off campus to find new ways to support our student housing and food insecurity needs.
Dr. Mary A. Papazian