The number of college students experiencing homelessness continues to rise in Washington state. Marginalized students, such as LGBTQIA+, students of color and those in foster care, are disproportionately affected by homelessness and face significant barriers to college success.
Highline College, among 11 other local colleges, is participating in the Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness Pilot to address this need. Since 2021, Highline has been connected to the pilot and provides wraparound services to students experiencing homelessness, including housing through the Student Housing & Retention (SHoRe) and While In School Housing (WISH) programs, food through the Community Pantry, emergency funding and more.
Read more about this pilot and Highline’s involvement in The Seattle Times article, “Foster, homeless college students in WA could get more housing support,” published on March 20, 2023.
Student Housing and Retention Program (SHoRe)
SHoRe is a program that supports students who are experiencing homelessness, who have just recently become housed, or those who are unstably housed or at risk of homelessness. SHoRe is dedicated to supporting Highline College students who are experiencing financial difficulties/hardships and/or were in foster care at the time of graduation from high school.
The program provides on and off-campus accommodations, resources for housing support, employment/job search resource information and connects students with housing providers when appropriate. Additional case management, intervention and retention services are provided as well as access to funds, navigating emergency housing, and other support, including but not limited to, ORCA LIFT cards, EBT/food stamps, health insurance, utility bill assistance, tax preparation, legal counsel, signing up for Apple Health, and mental health and wellness referrals. Students can also access accommodations, such as school supplies, personal hygiene kit, food gift cards, etc through SHoRe, though there is no guarantee.
While In-School Housing Program (WISH)
WISH is a housing program for Highline College students experiencing homelessness made possible through a partnership between the King County Housing Authority and support from the United Way King County and the Highline College Foundation.
Qualified students will receive a time-limited (for a maximum of 54 months) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) from King County Housing Authority (KCHA). Students who are enrolled in WISH can select any apartment or home that accepts Section-8 vouchers as a method of payment throughout the KCHA jurisdiction. Once WISH Program students graduate, their vouchers will continue to be active for an additional 6 months. At that time, they can either take over full payments of their unit or begin a new lease elsewhere.
Questions? Contact Saido Alinur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-592-4416
All students who believe they may be eligible and benefit from the SHoRe/WISH program are encouraged to submit a SHoRe/WISH Screening Form.