As tuition and housing costs rise in the Santa Cruz area, an increasingly large number of students attending college are left struggling to find a place to live to pursue their education. Students have been known to sleep in their cars, find a friend's couch to crash on, and sometimes even camp out on the side of the road. This can force those most in need to drop out of school and miss their opportunity to pursue a college education.
Slug Shelter is an entirely student-run organization whose mission is to provide college students experiencing homelessness in the Santa Cruz area with a safe, consistent living environment that is designed to meet their emotional and physical needs, thereby allowing these students to pursue higher education.
In order to select students who would best be served by Slug Shelter, which is tentatively planned to open in October 2021, we are developing a selection system in collaboration with social work professionals and the student-run shelters already in place at UCLA and USC. Once we select 12 students who we believe would benefit most from Slug Shelter, we will be connecting each of them with a mentor specializing in social work to assist them with finding a more permanent housing solution. Additionally, each resident will receive two meals per day, as well as options on campus for free lunch.
In addition to providing housing to students who would otherwise be without a home, Slug Shelter offers volunteer positions and opportunities to students who wish to help operate the shelter. We will be offering students opportunities to fill roles ranging from managerial positions to Resident Assistants of the shelter. Students who are selected will undergo a rigorous and professional training process.
Slug Shelter is partnered with Students 4 Students, a nonprofit organization that supports the Bruin Shelter at UCLA, Trojan Shelter at USC, and Aggie House at UC Davis. Students 4 Students provides Slug Shelter with immense expertise in student housing insecurity and basic needs, financial support, liability insurance, and more.