Students react to rise in local homelessness rate


Helen Harlan

The Associated Press published an article containing a survey that found homelessness grew almost 70% in Sacramento in the past two years. Tents set up by the homeless on Alhambra Boulevard.

A survey on the national homeless crisis found that homelessness in Sacramento surged almost 70% in the last two years, according to a recent article by the Associated Press.

Upon hearing of the statistic, Cosumnes River College students reacted with various emotions.

Gracelynn Rapp, 18, an early childhood development major, expressed concern for the physical safety of the unhoused in Clarksburg, a small Delta town approximately ten miles from campus.

“Clarksburg is not super invaded by homeless, but sometimes I’ll see homeless people walking on the River Road which is really unsafe,” Rapp said. “River Road is already dangerous as it is, but having them walk on the side, someone can hit them”

Brandon Santos, 18, an early childhood development major, wanted to see more support given to those locals that identify as unhoused.

“It would be nice to have more care stations, anywhere they could get food, water, a nice rest,” Santos said.

Elisha Craig, 17, a communications major, was unaffected by the numbers.

“Being homeless, you’re not there for no reason,” Craig said. “I’m not really tripping about it.”

Charles Young, a biz-tech major, 17, was sympathetic to the homeless individuals as his uncle is currently unhoused.

“My uncle (was) going through some things. He couldn’t make rent, he was out there for a little bit,” Young said. “He explained it like it was a struggle to figure out how to eat, where you gonna sleep, people messing with you on the street, people taking the money you get from the tips from other people who are willing to help you.”

Young’s uncle attempted to get public assistance, but said it didn’t really help.

Brian Rickel, dean of Arts, Media and Entertainment, was blunt about his feelings towards the statistics.

“Simply put? It’s terrible,” Rickel said.

He would like to see more from Gov. Gavin Newsom to help fix the crisis.

“Newsom is really presenting himself as this progressive governor,” Rickel said. “We saw the homeless population explode in San Francisco under his mayorship. Where’s the progressive policy?”

Katy Wilson, a faculty researcher at the Office of Research and Equity, said there were 157 homeless students at CRC in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Wilson also added that that statistic is most likely an underestimate as the actual student unhoused population is often under-reported.

Rickel also praised the campus resources for unhoused students.

“I think about how this college is run and the policies we have here to support our students. It’s not perfect,” he said. “But whatever we have going on on this campus is better than what we have going on in the city.”