Art by Carlos Ochoa
Art by Carlos Ochoa

Many students at LBCC face homelessness and some don’t know about the available resources on campus. LBCC Trustees Sunny Zia and Ginny Baxter have formed Helping the Homeless.
Their effort is to help students in need by providing rent vouchers, tuition, money for books, bus passes and even hygiene products. Baxter even has a fund just for veterans and other special situations. The committee also has helped students with their first month’s rent.
The organization and its donors even stock a pantry where students can come weekly for food. All students need to show is their LBCC ID. Donations from canned food to clothing to toiletries can be brought to the Foundation Building O2 at the far south end of LAC.
Anything helps.
LBCC student Susan Usas has been one of many who have received helped from Baxter and Zia. “The committee is so helpful and actually care,” Usas said. “Everyone’s need is personalized.”
Even though the project is succeeding, room for more involvement exists. Community member and biology assistant professor Elizabeth Nash has an ongoing proposition called quiet space for homeless.
Nash said the purpose of the space is to help homeless students with lack of access to a quiet study areas, online resources and digital technology. Nash describes the room as a study hall for the after hours. LBCC has not identified a specific campus or building that can be used yet, but resources are being reviewed. She said the room will help improve students’ grades.
On LBCC’s website, a search of “housing” provides a list of apartment links. Some are close to the campuses while others are outside Long Beach and are specialized just for students. The website even lists places that help with roommate searches.
More people are starting to realize that a bit of help goes a long way. On April 14, the Associated Student Body help sponsor a homeless student outreach event to generate ideas and improve services for the movement.
Viking News on Saturday April 30, won an award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for stories published last Spring by Sylvana Uribe and Kelly Mahaffey.
Remember that no student should have to choose between an education and a place to sleep or meal to eat. Donations are needed and may be made by check payable to the LBCC Foundation and adding homeless in the memo, by online donation at lbcc.edu/foundation, adding homeless in comments section or by dropping off soft packaged food or hygiene items at the O2 Building on Conant Street and Clark Avenue at the LAC.