Three Rivers receives grant to serve homeless and at risk students

Norwich – Three Rivers Community College has received a $7,000 grant from the Melville Charitable Trust to offer education and employment services to students who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Recent studies show that up to half of community college students nationwide are housing insecure and 14 percent are homeless, Three Rivers officials said in a press release announcing receipt of the grant.

The grant will fund expenses related to the educational and employment goals of homeless students. In addition to the grant funding, Three Rivers is participating in the Youth Count Survey as part of the 2018 Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and has named a point person for homelessness on campus.

“Three Rivers Community College is thankful to receive support from the Melville Charitable Trust to assist our homeless and formally homeless students,” Marjorie Valentin, associate dean of Workforce and Community Education said in the press release. “This funding will help the college’s most vulnerable population with daily living costs such as transportation, day care, food, books and shelter so they can continue their educational pathway and obtain sustainable employment.”

Three Rivers has named Sharon Lincoln, a student support specialist as the point person for homeless students on campus. Lincoln’s role is to ensure that students have access to resources that will help them be successful students. This can include connecting them with the food pantry, scholarships, off campus resources and more. Lincoln will also act as the team lead when Three Rivers participates in the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness 2018 Connecticut Youth Count.

The Youth Count will kick off its third year to help identify homeless and unstably housed youth, many of whom never enter homeless shelters. Three Rivers is collaborating with the coalition to attain a comprehensive count to understand better the scope of the magnitude, needs, and demographics of homeless youth in the state.

Any Three Rivers students needing help finding food or shelter and anyone knowing someone in that situation are asked to call Lincoln at (860) 215-9264 to set up a consultation appointment.

“Given the increase in homelessness, this is important news for the college and our students,” Three Rivers President Mary Ellen Jukoski said of the grant.

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