Students Living in Poverty a Focus for Donors

By United Way of King County, on June 5, 2018 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, News

If you were one of the thousands of college students living in poverty in King County, how in-reach would a college degree be?

Or if you didn’t know where your meal after class would come from? If you were homeless?

These questions and others led the dinner conversation at United Way’s May 31 Cocktails and Community Conversations event. Thanks to hosts Kurt and Leslie Dammeier, this evening united donors and issue insiders like campaign chairs Ethan and Angela Stowell and Lauren McGowan, Senior Director of Ending Homelessness and Poverty. They shared what United Way is doing to support students living in poverty in the greater Seattle area—specifically Benefits Hubs.

Benefits Hubs: Food Security + Financial Assistance

Education is one of the best tools to break the cycle of poverty. With so many college students living in poverty, we’re connecting them to services through Benefits Hubs to help them stay in school and graduate. And we’re meeting them where they are: on campus.

9% of students are homeless and 36% do not know where their next meal will come from.

Benefits Hubs offer financial coaching, assistance for students applying for benefits and financial aid, free tax preparation and food pantry-type support. Guests at Cocktails and Community Conversations heard specifics from Layel, one of the 18 AmeriCorps members working on Benefits Hubs.

It’s really hard—essential needs like food and housing become your priority. Trying to maintain enrollment in college is a miracle. The people I know doing that are strong, intelligent and resilient.”

Jay, student at Seattle Central College

Check out NPR’s recent article on the widespread issue of college students facing hunger and homelessness.

Join the Fight For Students Living in Poverty

Intrigued by this Cocktails and Community Conversations event? Want to make a big, lasting impact on issues like students living in poverty in our community? Learn more about United Way Champions and upcoming events.


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