Turning your life around after being homeless in college

- Amber Pittman is 33 years old, is a mother of three and spent most of her college years without a home. She just graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. She says she knew she needed to get a degree to turn her life around, but it wasn’t easy.

Pittman says, “I stayed in several shelters. I slept in my car a few times. Not everyone is as vocal as me, so it’s not something to be proud of, but there are lots of good resources if you look.”

Over the past year, Dr. Rashida Crutchfield from Cal State Long Beach conducted a number of interviews and focus groups at two of the 23 Cal State campuses. She found about 10% of the students are homeless, while 20% aren’t getting enough food.

Dr. Crutchfield says, “I think that people really misunderstand what homelessness is. We have students who are experiencing barriers that most of us couldn’t imagine, and they know they need to graduate in order to change their circumstances.”

Crutchfield hopes her study will help implement programs to change the homeless issue among students.

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