Survey: 1 In 5 LA Community College District Students Homeless

Los Angeles (CBSLA.com) — Studying on the streets?

A new survey by the Los Angeles Community College District shows that one out of every five students in the district is homeless and more than 60 percent of their students don’t have enough to eat.

“It was terrible. It was the worst experience,” said Desaree Williams of being a homeless student living in her car with her daughter.

“My legs were swollen sleeping sitting up with my daughter,” she said.

Williams said she was tired but never gave up on getting her education at LA Trade Tech.

“I still came to school every day and [my daughter] went to school. A terrible experience,” said Williams.

“It’s very hard to study when you’re hungry,” said Myriah, a homeless student at LA Trade Tech.

Another homeless student, Ernesto Yanes-Arnold, has been living in his car since he turned 25 and aged out of the foster care system.

He and dozens of others attended a news conference releasing the results of the homeless and hungry survey and an announcement by the district and county about adding low-income housing and free meals for students with the help of Measure H.

“I am excited to see what the money’s going to do,” said Yanes-Arnold.

Desaree and her daughter are now living in an apartment, but she encourages other homeless students to never give up.

“I’m still here. I encourage everyone to tell someone,” said Williams.

Measure H will generate $355 million for ten years to help with services and housing for the homeless. The resources are available starting July 1st.

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