Photo by: Fresno City College

Student Services building where students can find multiple resources to help them successfully continue their education.

From couch surfing, living in shelters and living out on the streets, many students at Fresno City College are currently struggling to keep a roof over their head. 

FCC offers multiple resources to help students who are facing housing insecurities. 

Housing Opportunities Promote Education (HOPE) is an on-campus academic support program that helps homeless and housing unstable students achieve their educational goals. 

The requirement for this program is for students to be enrolled in at least 9 units. 

Students are allowed to take classes at any State Center Community College District campus, but must receive their financial aid package through FCC to qualify. 

The program allows students to be eligible for up to 12 months of housing assistance.

HOPE has served 177 students since January 2021, with 49 of them currently housed. The goal is to welcome 50 more students into their housing facilities.

According to HOPE program coordinator Natalie Chavez, FCC was not expecting an influx of demand. “At one point we had a 300 person waiting list,” she said.

HOPE partnered with WestCare California to help provide students with substance abuse counseling and mental health support. There are currently 47 students enrolled in this part of the program that are also being housed by HOPE.

FCC received two grants for the HOPE program last year totaling $4.1 million.

A grant for $2.1 million came from the California Chancellor’s Office of Community Colleges, which has been awarded to HOPE for a pilot program that also includes 13 other community colleges.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also granted the HOPE program $2 million to help house and benefit homeless individuals. 

FCC has become one of the first community colleges in the country to receive this grant. 

RH Community Builders, a private real-estate developer and Fresno EOC are partnering with HOPE to help students facilitate housing. 

Crossroads Village, located on Blackstone and Dakota Ave. is a federally funded supportive housing by RH Community Builders that gave HOPE its first seven units in February 2021.

The program kept expanding and later received an additional 24 units at Hacienda, on Clinton and 99. 

The program now has nine additional units in Fresno and 14 units in Pinedale in partnership with the Fresno Housing Authority that are family housing. 

The next housing build on McKinley and Golden State is currently under construction but is expected to house 50 more students within the upcoming month.

The goal for HOPE is to help students prepare for 100% rental responsibilities six months after they leave the program.

By 2024, HOPE plans to have 300 apartments available for students with housing insecurity. 

For additional information or to apply contact Natalie Chavez at [email protected].