KENNESAW, Georgia (November 1, 2021) – As more students nationwide face homelessness and food insecurity, Kennesaw State University (CARES) Campus Outreach and Empowerment Services have emerged as a leader , creating practical solutions to help students in need.
Now in its 10th year, KSU’s CARE services are dedicated to helping students facing host families, homelessness and / or food insecurity. The organization serves as a single point of access to on-campus and off-campus services and resources for students in the State of Kennesaw.
âThe pandemic has exacerbated the problems of homelessness and food insecurity for many students who have lost their jobs or suffered salary cuts,â said Marcy Stidum, director of CARE Services. âAs these needs have changed for our students, we have been successful in expanding our programs and services for the KSU community, such as adding our ASCEND program. ASCEND offers mentoring and housing options on campus where students who experienced homelessness and / or host families while in high school can live together on Kennesaw State’s Marietta Campus.
The organization is now going beyond the campus community with the launch of CARE RoadMap, a personalized program to provide training to colleges and universities to help students in need, as part of the University’s annual celebration. Homelessness Awareness Week, November 1-6. .
âWe have developed the CARE roadmap to ensure that any academic institution can support its special populations of needy students as they transition to university,â said Stidum. âWe have seen first-hand how beneficial these initiatives are for students in the State of Kennesaw, and we look forward to expanding that impact by sharing this proven model with other schools. ”
Nationally, KSU’s CARE services are recognized as a national model of best practice by the National Center for Homeless Education, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and SchoolHouse Connection.
In the 10 years of CARE Services’ existence, nearly 2,500 students have benefited from services, including 44 students housed in temporary apartments and 111 students receiving financial assistance to prevent deportation and homelessness.
Over the past decade, they have provided nearly $ 300,000 in direct financial aid, including nearly $ 71,000 for students in Kennesaw State from July to September of this year.
Donations from individuals, foundations and businesses have added new levels of assistance for emergency housing, supplies and food. Kennesaw State was the first university in the country to add an emergency accommodation room on campus with support from the Beacon Foundation Charitable Trust. The addition and expansion of pantries on the Marietta and Kennesaw campuses was made possible by the continued support of grocery retailer Kroger.
Serta Simmons Bedding, one of the largest mattress manufacturers, distributors and suppliers in North America, will also support KSU’s CARE services and the CARE roadmap by providing participating institutions with mattresses and pillows for their students in the need.
In addition to the CARE Roadmap and two on-campus pantries, KSU’s CARE Services also operates three other support efforts:
Â· Emergency aid helps students overcome unforeseen difficulties that hamper academic progress by providing them with financial aid.
Â· KSU AmeriCorps VISTA Network is a community of students and others providing resources to students in a national effort to end campus poverty.
Â· The GEAR UP Georgia priority model is designed to support high school students who are homeless or in youth foster care and who want to succeed in college.
For more information on KSU CARE services, visit care.kennesaw.edu.
– Tiffany Capuano
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two Atlanta metro campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the Georgia university system. The university’s vibrant culture, diverse population, strong global ties, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-nominated doctoral (R2) research institute, which places it among an elite group of just 6% of US colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.