Colleges try different approaches to help students
Taylor Nachtigal, May 12, 2017
Read the full story at postbulletin.com
...Oakgrove is one of many students in Southeast Minnesota who have been homeless or have trouble finding or paying for housing. It's a problem that's drawing increased attention nationwide, with recent reports estimating as many as 13 percent of students are homeless, and as many as 50 percent don't have access to affordable housing.
Campuses throughout the state have been making attempts to address social problems such as this, drawing on existing community resources or attempting to address the problems through grass-roots approaches. But now the conversation has made its way to the Minnesota State administration and Board of Trustees.
[excerpt] ... At Minnesota State College Southeast, with locations in Red Wing and Winona, Shannon Sullivan-Hanson, Red Wing Campus Check & Connect coach, works with students in difficult situations.
She moved from a job in financial aid to a job in the fall of 2016 that focuses on helping students stay in school. It quickly became apparent that access to food was an issue, she said, so she asked for donations and began putting together food kits that students could pick up, no questions asked.
"I started in September, by October we were putting food kits together," she said. Though it's not a full-fledged food shelf, the kits have been a "very, very utilized" resource.