A survey of the national homelessness crisis found that homelessness in Sacramento has jumped nearly 70% in the past two years, according to a recent Associated Press article.
Upon hearing the statistic, the students of Cosumnes River College reacted with various emotions.
Gracelynn Rapp, 18, an early childhood development student, expressed concern about the physical safety of homeless people in Clarksburg, a small Delta town about ten miles from campus.
“Clarksburg isn’t super overrun with homeless people, but sometimes I see homeless people walking on the River Road, which is really dangerous,” Rapp said. âRiver Road is already dangerous as it is, but by walking them sideways someone can hit themâ
Brandon Santos, 18, an early childhood development specialist, wanted to see more support for locals who identify as homeless.
âIt would be nice to have more nursing stations, wherever they could find food, water, good rest,â Santos said.
Elisha Craig, 17, a communications specialist, was unaffected by the numbers.
“As a homeless person, you’re not here for no reason,” Craig said. “I’m not really tripping over it.”
Charles Young, a biz-tech major, 17, was sympathetic to the homeless as his uncle is currently homeless.
âMy uncle (was going through) some things. He couldn’t do rent, he was there for a little while,â Young said. “He explained it as if it’s hard to know how to eat, where you’re going to sleep, people bother you on the street, people take the money you get from tips from other people who are ready to t ‘to help.”
Young’s uncle tried to get public help, but said it didn’t really help.
Brian Rickel, Dean of Arts, Media and Entertainment, was candid about his feelings about the statistics.
“Simply? It’s terrible,” Rickel said.
He would like to see more from Governor Gavin Newsom to help resolve the crisis.
“Newsom really presents himself as this progressive governor,” Rickel said. âWe have seen the homeless population explode in San Francisco under its town hall. Where is the progressive politics?
Katy Wilson, a researcher with the Office of Research and Equity, said there were 157 homeless students at CRC in the 2020-2021 academic year.
Wilson also added that this statistic is most likely an underestimate, as the actual homeless student population is often underreported.
Rickel also praised campus resources for homeless students.
âI think about the way this college is run and the policies we have here to support our students. It’s not perfect,â he said. “But everything we have on this campus is better than what we have in town.”