San Jose State University

SJSU Students Camp Out to Raise Awareness About College Homelessness

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A quiet protest took place overnight at San Jose State University, where homeless advocates slept outside in tents to bring attention to student homelessness.

The mission of the 14th "Poverty Under the Stars" campout was to push for the passage of Assembly Bill 1314, which would include housing in the total college costs eligible for Cal Grant money.

Through the program SJSU Cares, in the last academic year, the university said it provided 53 students with financial aid grants, 21 students with financial aid loans and 18 emergency assistance funds. It also got six students temporary housing with an average stay of about 18 days.

Roughly 4,000 students at SJSU experience homelessness.

Through the protest and other work, the students prompted San Jose State administration to make more resources available by this fall.

In January, the university announced a plan to build about 1,000 below-market apartments for faculty, staff and some students, but that construction could take about five years to complete.

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