Our students face a variety of issues outside of the classroom that may impact their ability to be successful at Bridgewater State, and we want all students to know that help is available.
The Massachusetts Student Housing Security Pilot
Across the United States and here in Massachusetts, rising costs and declining public support of higher education, coupled with record levels of income inequality, have created unprecedented financial insecurity for students. Responding to a 2017 HOPE lab survey administered at 24 Massachusetts public colleges and universities, 13 percent of community college students and 10 percent of state university and University of Massachusetts students stated that they had become homeless in the past year. Even greater percentages of students said they had experienced housing insecurity, such as the risk of imminent eviction, or hunger.
Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, the Massachusetts Student Housing Security Pilot launched in January 2019. Participating campuses include: South Coast: Bridgewater State University and Massasoit Community College; MetroWest: Framingham State University and MassBay Community College; Central Mass: Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College; Merrimack Valley: UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College.
BSU in partnership with Massasoit Community College have made up to five beds available for students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. Students accepted into the program receive housing and meals, as well as a variety of other services such as counseling, financial literacy support and assistance in locating permanent affordable housing upon graduation.
For information about this pilot program, please contact Eileen Estudante, director of Outreach and Special Programs in the Office of Student Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.531.1276
Resources in Support of Excellence (RISE)
We know that finding the resources you need can be a daunting task, while trying to attend college and balancing work and family responsibilities. If you would like to learn more about the array of resources available or need additional support, contact the Division of Student Success and Diversity.
- Food—In addition to information on SNAP, WIC, and local food pantry programs, BSU maintains a community garden and also offers the BSU Bears Food Bank 4 U, a campus-run, self-service food bank available to all students that offers non-perishable items, fresh food and sanitary products.
- Housing—In addition to the Student Housing Security Pilot, BSU has a list of resources for students seeking affordable housing, transitional assistance or shelters. Contact Eileen Estudante at email@example.com or 508.531.1276
- Clothing—The Catholic Center maintains a self-service community closet with gently used garments, bed linens and winter wear. If you are in need of formal business clothing for an upcoming interview, the Bear Essentials Clothing Closet, located in the Internship Office, provides formal business attire and suits to students.
- Fuel and Energy Assistance—If you are unable to pay your winter heating or energy bills, BSU has information on a variety of services that can assist you in either paying your bills or acquiring heating oil for your home.
- Health and Well Being—The BSU Wellness Center assists students with any physical health issues and the Counseling Center offers on-campus counseling. BSU also has information on health insurance assistance.
- Family Resources—BSU maintains a list of resources for families needing a variety of services, including child care, housing, nutrition and transitional assistance.