With a roof over his head, Anthony Miller’s grades rose from D’s to B’s. But many students aren’t so lucky. One told us, “We’re barely making it, barely able to pay rent. There are times where I can’t come to school because I don’t have bus fare. There are days where I can’t pay my phone bill because it all went to rent or food. As soon as that happens, I don’t have more money for school supplies, for bus fare — for anything.”

At Cerritos College, we listen to our students, and our work is informed by their experiences. Right now, they are very clear: Affordable on-campus housing is a top priority.

In 2019 — before the pandemic struck — a survey revealed that more than half of our nearly 21,000 students struggled to afford housing. That’s why we opened The Village, California’s first community college initiative for students experiencing homelessness. The initiative can only help 28 students, but student need has only grown, leading to our application for state support through the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program.


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