Aggie Compass and Davis Community Meals and Housing provide housing services
Aggie Compass student manager explains his experience with homelessness
Resources are available for UC Davis students and residents of Yolo County with housing issues. According to the Homeless Count 2019, which was conducted by the Yolo County Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition, 655 people experienced homelessness in a single day on January 22, 2019. The report noted that the number only reflected that day. -the ; many families and individuals are entering and exiting homelessness.
Lyzette Perez, a fourth-year student at UC Davis majoring in psychology, was confronted with homelessness in 2017. Perez, originally from Southern California, said her uncle was living with his family while struggling with drug addiction. Perez described how he got violent, caused fights and yelled at his family members; one day she decided to call the cops.
“My grandparents and my mother were mad at me because they said, ‘He’s family. How can they turn their backs on the family, ”said Perez. “I decided if this is what they would prefer, I’m just going to go.”
She moved in with a friend in the same neighborhood before deciding to move up to Washington; his dream was to go to the University of Washington. Although she and her friend had a place to stay in Washington in mind, plans fell apart shortly before their arrival.
“We had fifteen hundred dollars under our belt at the time,” Perez said. “We ended up being homeless for a month.”
They slept in the car parked in the parking lot of a 24 hour convenience store. After identifying the obstacles in Washington; she returned to Los Angeles, where she earned community college credits.
“I finally transferred to Davis last year,” Perez said. “I was lucky enough to find accommodation during COVID, and I was able to find something at a very decent price. “
Today, she is a management student at Aggie Compass, a basic needs center. The college-focused rapid relocation program, exclusive to homeless students, provides housing for homeless students, a meal plan and intense case management based on academic achievement. Once a month, they drive around the campus, seeing how many students are in their vehicles. She mentioned that over the past few years they have found over 10 per month.
Aggie Compass also provides hotel vouchers for students in circumstances who may currently have nowhere to go but take refuge in their cars.
“I know that if you are food or housing insecure, it is difficult to ask for help; you almost feel ashamed because you say to yourself, “What have I done to myself where I am in this place?” Said Perez.
For those in need of housing who are over the age of 18, Davis Community Meals and Housing offers a transition and bridging housing program. They help homeless people with a safe and stable environment and help meet daily needs, such as food and shelter. Ray Brent Jr., the resource coordinator for the Transitional and Bridge Housing program, details the services they provide.
“We take care of your finances,” Brent said. “We deal with drugs and alcohol. We take care of the budgeting of resources. We help with inquiries or give you documents to find apartment complexes.
He says they currently? have six to eight people there, but they can serve up to 12.
“Without this place, a lot of people would be in a worse situation in their lives. This place helps people 100%, ”Brent said. “I actually went to this program.”
Brent gives advice to those who are afraid to ask for help.
“Understand where your fears are coming from and deal with them,” Brent said.
Resources for homeless students can be found on Aggie Compass website. These include emergency and short-term housing, housing services and listings, free legal services and housing organizations.
Written by: Ellie Lee – [email protected]