Sacramento State will offer shelter for students who suddenly find themselves homeless in order to address student financial hardship.

“We have students who are sleeping in their car, on a friend’s couch, on church steps, in tents, or in local shelters, because they can’t pay their rent,” says University case manager Danielle Muñoz, whose role is to aid students in crisis.

The new Student Emergency Housing Program will allow for one male and one female student to live in a residence hall for up to 30 days with meals included. The program currently only allows for one student at a time, but will eventually allow for two.

Approximately 45 percent of Sacramento State’s 30,000 students are low-income and Pell Grant-eligible. An estimated 8.7 percent of students are displaced, and 21 percent are identified as food insecure, according to a 2015 survey of administrators, faculty, and staff at the 23 California State University campuses.

Students can visit the food pantry in Yosemite Hall once a week and spend points on toiletries and nonperishable food items using their SAC State OneCard. It has served 669 students since the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester.

Muñoz helps students apply to Sacramento State’s Emergency Fund, which provides immediate monetary assistance. She also connects displaced students with community agencies that can find them long-term housing.

“We value the idea of like-equity and equal access to education. Students shouldn’t have to think about dropping out of school because they can’t afford their rent,” Muñoz said.