Frugality with money is a necessity for most college students. However, some students still cannot afford some basic needs, such as rent for a place to live.
“It could be any of us that hit this spot in life,” Jerri Ann Campbell, program director of Grace Campus, said. “It doesn’t take much for someone to end up in the position of not having anywhere to go and not having the money to get on their feet.”
Younger college students who still feel the social obligation to fit in with their peers are less likely to seek help when experiencing homelessness, Chris Moore, executive director of Grace Campus, said.
“It is important for people to understand that most of our people here have jobs,” Moore said. “They look like everybody else.”
Grace Campus provides people who are experiencing homelessness the basic necessities to live each day, Campbell said. The organization provides showers, clothing, laundry facilities and laundry detergent, among other services and items.
Those at Grace Campus also have access to several modes of transportation, Campbell said. The organization provides bus passes, and bicycles are often donated from Walmart and Texas Tech.
“I don’t know the number of homeless at Tech,” Moore said, “but if we knew the actual truth, it is probably a good amount.”
Another organization that serves the homeless in the Lubbock community is The Salvation Army.
The organization has provided services to six Tech students within the past year, Erica Hitt, director of social services at The Salvation Army, said.
“I’ve got one who is a single father who is attending Tech,” Hitt said. “The student loans that he got basically just covers classes and materials. It’s not enough for him to sustain and take care of his children and pay the bills.”
The Salvation Army provides several services to people in their programs, Hitt said. This includes case management, prescription vouchers, transportation to and from school and work, meals and food vouchers.
“We also have our Rapid Rehousing Program,” Hitt said. “It pays for everything needed to get them in a home.”
Alongside drug use and mental illness, monetary concerns are one of the main reasons for homelessness, Hitt said.
Organizations on the Tech campus can also aid people who are struggling with money management.
“We help other students alleviate stress around money,” Hunter Coday, student assistant with Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching, said.
Red to Black offers coaching sessions to discuss spending plans, student loan and financial aid options, how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid works and general information about credit, Hunter said.
Red to Black also partners with the Raider Relief Fund, Coday said. This organization helps students who are working to pay off student debt and have little money to afford the cost of living.
“Money can be a touchy subject,” Coday said. “The stickier someone’s situation is, the less they want to confront it and talk about it. They think there’s no way out.”
Although organizations exist to help people who are struggling, money is often considered a private matter.
People often wait to ask for help because they feel ashamed, Moore said.
“We don’t want people to be embarrassed,” Campbell said. “There’s a lot of people in our community that care and want to provide a place for them to get back on to their feet.”