Amarillo community offers variety of aid for students: Local organizations lending a hand


College students often face hardship in the uphill battle to attain degrees. Although Amarillo College offers campus resources to help struggling students, numerous off-campus resources also are available.

The Sunshine Cottage in Amarillo, for example, provides single mothers who have custody of their children a place to stay while going to AC.

Women seeking to stay at the Sunshine Cottage are required to write an autobiography explaining their life goals and must be without a home in which to live.

Nancy Brent, who works at the Sunshine Cottage, said 99 percent of the women who stay at the cottage come from shelters.

“Women can stay until they get a two- or four- year degree,” Brent said.

Faith City Mission at 401 S.E. Second Ave. provides temporary shelter for families in need. Typically, families can stay for two weeks unless they are working to achieve solid goals.

“If they are trying to get a job and their own place to live, they can stay up to six months,” said Mark Crues, a representative of Faith City Mission.

“We also give three hot meals a day as well as clothes to the people who stay here.”

Options also are available for students to get help paying their rent. Panhandle Community Services at 1309 S.W. Eighth Ave. provides rental assistance for full-time students at AC or West Texas A&M University.

The students can be either married or single but must have children. They also must be enrolled in school and provide their class schedule.

“The waiting list is six to nine months and is only for HUD housing,” said Dorrane Grimes, who works at PCS. Students must call to have applications mailed to their residence.

Trudy Banner, AC coordinator of social services, said, “If a student comes in having trouble paying their rent, what I do is connect them to the Salvation Army or 211.

“211 is part of the United Way, and when you call that number, you talk to a live person and you tell them your story, and they connect you to all of the available resources.”

To find a list of community resources:

  • Go online to and click on the “Students” tab.

Also included are resources to help with utilities, transportation, substance abuse, legal help and child care.

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