Homelessness is not a new problem in Seattle. The city hosts over 13,000 homeless people, leaving Seattle with the third-largest homeless population in the US. Washington state also has the fourth largest homeless population by state. In 2019, a survey specifically sent out to community college students found that 41% of students experienced food insecurities, 51% faced a certain level of housing insecurities and 19% expressed that they were homeless. This is an increasing crisis that requires more attention and assistance. A way to help relieve the housing and food crisis is by making education more accessible, a challenge Bellevue College is dedicated to achieving. One of the ways the college is achieving this is by setting up funds for BC students.
The Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness (SSEH) grant is for students who are experiencing homelessness and are currently or were in foster care when they graduated high school. This grant helps with housing, food, hygiene and storage access. This program has been extended to July 1, 2024.
The Student Emergency Assistance grant (SEAG) is designed for students experiencing an unforeseen emergency that is preventing them from completing their education. This cannot be used for tuition or tuition related debts, textbooks or fees. Students may request this grant at most three times per quarter, and each request must be a new emergency situation.
To apply for either grant, fill out this application. The application asks students to specify their needs, food and housing securities, and multiple other questions about their situation. There are also short-answer questions requiring students to explain the emergency and other circumstances that make it difficult to complete the quarter. Students should hear back in a minimum of two business days, but they can reach out to email@example.com for any questions and concerns.
BC also offers more resources through the BC Benefits Hub for BC students who are experiencing a variety of different problems. Students can access the Benefits Hub and Brutus Food pantry in U217. They offer services in housing support, including rent assistance, food access, financial coaching and tax help. Students can also go to the Benefits Hub for help completing the emergency assistance funds application. The Benefits Hub is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with virtual appointments available for Friday, and the Brutus Food Pantry is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.