Homelessness and housing insecurity is a growing challenge among students, employees, and community members, which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. According to a 2020 survey of college students by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, nearly three in five students had basic needs insecurity and 14 percent reported homelessness. Students of color, students with disabilities, and LQBTQ+ students face even greater disparities. Students enrolled at CUMU member institutions face similar rates.
In 2020, CUMU collaborated with the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative (HRAC) at Portland State University to establish a working group of ten CUMU member institutions with a shared commitment of developing solutions and actionable steps to address homelessness and housing insecurity. In spring 2021, CUMU developed and granted a research fellowship to HRAC to support inquiry, implement an action summit, and develop a resource guide for individuals and groups working to address homelessness.