For my last two years of high school, I was homeless. My father gave me the option of sharing our circumstances with teachers, counselors and administrators. I chose to stay silent.

Even at 16, I knew that when people hear the word “homeless,” most do not think of youth or families. However, in Los Angeles County alone, approximately 63,000 minors are homeless. And that number is actually a conservative estimate because families often underreport for reasons that include fear of separation and the stigma of being homeless.

A recent study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received much attention lately, as it showed a significant variance in reported data on students who experience food insecurity. The study called into question the survey methods of a variety of sources, including leading researchers from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, founded and led by Sara Goldrick-Rab.

Taking action means dismantling our own biases and re-examining campus policies and practices that create and perpetuate stigmas and silence among students struggling with food and housing insecurity. Here are four ways to break the cycle of food and housing insecurity on U.S. college campuses:

  • Break down biases to increase access.
  • Train all campus personnel to assume active roles.  
  • Capitalize on cross-sector partnerships.  
  • Seek opportunities to partner with philanthropies.

Read the full article about food and housing insecurity by Angela Sanchez at The Hechinger Report.