Massachusetts is offering 20 college students free housing as part of a pilot program aimed at combatting youth homelessness.
The program, announced by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) Thursday as part of a larger rollout to help the state better assist homeless youth, will allot $120,000 initially to house, feed and provide resources for 20 students from community colleges, who will be put up at four state universities.
The four community colleges chosen do not have dorms and are being paired with state colleges that have extra housing, according to the Boston Globe.
“We saw a need,” Carlos Santiago, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, told the Globe. “And we’ve got space in our state universities.”
He said all twenty beds in the pilot program have already been claimed.
Massachusetts estimated that there are between 500 and 1,000 homeless youth, but the problem may be even more pronounced than that.
An online survey from 2017 conducted at a majority of the state’s public campuses found at least 13 percent of community college students reported experiencing homelessness in the past year.
Ten percent of students at the state’s public four-year colleges reported experiencing homelessness in the past year.