Homelessness may affect Bakersfield College students

Laura Lanfray, Reporter

With homelessness on the rise across Kern County, Bakersfield College assists students in need in the form of donations and access to facilities.

According to research done by the Kern County Homeless Collaborative, as of January 2018, there are 885 homeless people within the county. The majority of them live in the City of Bakersfield itself. Fewer homeless people live throughout the smaller towns in Kern County, such as McFarland and the Kern River Valley area. Another study, a report based on a nationwide survey dedicated solely toward surveying college students found that in 2015 food insecurity in the homes of two-year college students was about 13.3 percent, a drop from 21.2 percent from 2008-14. However, going to school is still an option despite financial or residential instability. 

Bakersfield College Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania, reminds students of the availability of community resources for students. Damania strives to make it clear that if a student feels like they are struggling, they can and should turn to someone for help.

“Make sure you’re seeking the help you might need,” he reminds.  

The resources around the community range from local shelters, student employment at BC, and even include the school’s very own Renegade Pantry. The Pantry is a program that has been running since 2009 that provides qualifying students with food, clothing, and access to facilities for hygiene purposes.  

For those who wish to support the program in some way, the Pantry accepts year-round donations and volunteers. The full list of helpful resources can be found online or through the Office of Student Life.