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Student Homelessness Crisis: Can More Be Done?

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    Crisis amongst college students usually has one thinking about finals and grades. Those who enter college rarely think they will find themselves homeless. The rising cost of college tuitions and books may leave many without adequate funds to maintain a home. As many become homeless, they will often lose their sense of self, depression sets in, and their school work begins to suffer. Is there more that can be done to aid in this crisis? Attitudes towards homelessness and the factors surrounding it is the objective of this research.

    Student Homelessness Crisis: Can More Be Done?

    Community colleges and universities will see numerous students through the years. Many will be homeless and low income. How can this be addressed and what more can be done? How does this affect the student and their college performance? Through studies like the 11-item Attitudes Towards Homelessness Inventory and research by Jarrett T Gupton, hopefully, we will get a more in-depth look at the crisis facing college students of today.

    Student Homelessness

    Entering college is a wonderful time for a lot of students. However, for the estimated 13% of the college student body being homeless, how does this affect them and their performance?

    The Research

    Where I will only be using 3 research papers provided by others, these do offer insight into testing the homelessness crisis and it’s affects.


    J.B. Kingree and Walter F. Daves researched and duplicated the 11-item Attitudes Towards Homelessness Inventory (ATHI) and its limitations, implications and suggestions for future applications. Study 1 established that the ATHI has a valid, four-factor structure when completed by college students. Study 2 replicated this factor structure in another sample of college students and also provided construct validity for the ATHI by showing that it was related in predicted ways with personality and other attitudinal variables. Study 3 replicated this factor structure and also revealed significant differences on the ATHI based o whether respondents had been previously homeless themselves. Finally, study 4 provided predictive validity by showing that the ATHI could be used to gauge attitudinal change. (Kingree, 1997)

    Interviewing the Homeless of California.

    While Kingree and Daves studied the ATHI, another researcher named Jarrett T. Gupton got a more hands on approach with his research utilizing qualitative analysis with his approach. Going around to students who were homeless and asking them to participate in his study and learning about their circumstances. His research spoke of Kevin, African American Male college student and resident of Southern California Youth Network. Although homeless, he had a positive outlook on his life despite his hardships.


    Although there is no real way to bring complete awareness to a situation besides making it front line news, both these research teams did bring about some positives. The attitudes of those homeless weren’t just doom and gloom. For several of them, they viewed their barriers are obstacles to overcome. The downside is that not everyone views it that way. Stigmatized and often without means to complete assignments, they will struggle more than the rest of their classmates. Where as we all want to think this only affects college students, the harsh reality is that this affects students of all ages. 1.2 million students across America 12th grade and under are affected as well. Homelessness is a major issue in America today and is rising every year, how we handle it and the implications surrounding it will become more crucial. Donating isn’t always the answer. Sometimes we need to delve a little deeper and connect to the person. How can we change American’s homeless rates if we remove ourselves from it. Denying it could happen to us?

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