Closing Universities Is Creating a …

Megan Job is a Brooklyn native who is studying neuroscience at Middlebury College in Vermont. She used to live on campus, but had to leave after the school closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. She is uncertain where she will stay until the campus reopens because she is what housing advocates consider “housing insecure.” Throughout Megan’s life, her family has experienced homelessness or housing insecurity.

Megan says her mom, Maxine Stanford, worked full-time but struggled financially to raise two daughters in New York City. Maxine has been renting a room in Jersey City, NJ for a few years, but recently, Megan’s sister needed to move in. Megan doesn’t want to stay there more than a few days because she doesn’t want her mom to lose her housing.

According to a study by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, a research center focused on education and social policies, an estimated 14 percent of four-year college students are homeless and another 60 percent are considered housing insecure.

Middlebury told VICE News that a prorated room and board credit would be applied to students’ accounts when they returned. Megan doesn’t have the money to rent a room in New York City, so she is having to get creative with short-term solutions.

She is currently staying in an Airbnb in Brooklyn, which one of her former teachers was able to help her pay for. She will only be there until the end of the month. She will then possibly work as a nanny for a couple who needs childcare. In exchange, they will let her stay in their empty Airbnb. This will give her a stable place to live until she goes to Washington D.C., where she will work as a summer intern for the National Institutes of Health.

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