By Claudia Zuniga/Staff Reporter
Amarillo College has partnered with the City of Amarillo and Panhandle Community Services to offer homeless students housing vouchers.
The AC Advocacy and Resource Center met with Panhandle Community Services early this September to train their team on how to help students enter the process of obtaining the voucher.
Students who don’t have a permanent home can come into the Advocacy Center and talk to staff to get the paperwork started.
The team will assist with filling out all of the necessary paperwork and send in the application to Panhandle Community Services.
Jordan Herrera, AC director of social services, said she wants to spread the word about the new program. “If you know anyone that is struggling, send them to the Advocacy Center,” she said.
“Students shouldn’t have to worry about if they have to sleep in the cold and then go to class the next morning. We want to eliminate the worries and stressors from the life of students,” Herrera said.
Larnce Hicks, a physical therapy assistant major, said he was excited to hear of the new program. “It’s amazing that this school has a resource for every need that a student could face in school,” Hicks said.
“Homelessness is more common than people think, and even college students can be homeless,” he said.
Herrera said she is enthusiastic about the new partnership. “We have never been in a position to be in direct access with this kind of resource and to get one-on-one with the students in this kind of need.”
The Panhandle Community Services website explains how the voucher program works, stating, “The program allows individuals and families to locate and select their own housing and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. All housing units must pass a housing standard quality inspection prior to anyone moving into a unit. The unit may be an apartment, house or mobile home based on the family’s housing needs.”
Students who are interested in the program should contact Student Services at 806-31-5446 or visit the Student Services Center at the Washington Street Campus, Ware Student Commons, Suite 108.