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Chico State partnering up to help homeless students

Chico State basic needs program is partnering up with True North Housing Alliance and Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) to provide housing to students who need it.

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 5:46 PM
Updated: Nov 23, 2020 11:25 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Brian Ferncase a junior at Chico State, moved from San Diego to get his college education.

Just surviving was a bumpy road at times. "I was living in my car," said Ferncase.

But, he didn't let that roadblock sideline him for long.

"The university has many resources like the pantry and housing and university jobs," said Ferncase. "I was able to make some connections and get some housing and work here at the university."

Ferncase lived in a van when he moved to Chico and now through a rapid re-housing program, Chico State has provided him with his own studio apartment.

"They have given me housing which is huge," said Ferncase. "I have never had my own studio apartment."

Chico State Basic Needs Project was recently awarded an $870,000 college focused rapid re-housing grant to help fix student homelessness.

The university is partnering with CHAT and True North Housing Alliance to provide rapid re-housing for students that need it.

"We've hired a case manager and a housing locator and we go through the inventory of the community to see what is available within a certain price range and then they refer us, students, that are in need of case management and rental assistance," said Executive Director for True North Housing Alliance, Joy Amaro. "And so that is kind of our partnership and we identify a certain path for a student to take so that they are able to be successful."

Ferncase said he is extremely thankful for his job at the university farm.

"I love everyone I work with and just getting the farm experience is really nurturing to the soul," said Ferncase. 

He said after he graduates, he wants to become a therapist.

The university said any student struggling with paying rent or is homeless should apply for the program HERE. 

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