Assemblymember Didi Barrett Secures $150,000 for DCC Students Struggling with Housing and Food Essentials

From left to right: Kaina Rivera, Director of Residence Life; Marcia Butland, Assistant Dean; Didi Barrett, Assemblymember; Dr. Peter Grant Jordan, DCC President; Dr. Susan Rogers, Chief of Staff and VP of Institutional Effectiveness; Whitney Morris, Student Resource Navigator.

Funds launching new partnership to bring relief to low-income learners

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — OCT. 26, 2022 — Dutchess Community College (DCC) has received a grant of $150,000 to assist students struggling with housing and food insecurity. The funding, secured by New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and the Dutchess Community College Foundation, and administered by DCC CARES, will help alleviate homelessness and hunger for young, low-income DCC students.

Long-standing collaborations between DCC and the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services will be bolstered to ensure the collegiate success of homeless students and those experiencing housing insecurity. The program will provide subsidized, year-round housing in DCC’s Poughkeepsie campus residence hall. These full-time students will be granted year-round accommodations, meaning they won’t be required to vacate their residences during traditional campus breaks. They will also enjoy the opportunity to be part of an integrated living and learning community.

In a recent survey of 368 DCC students, four percent indicated that they were currently homeless, while 17 percent defined themselves as housing insecure, including couch surfing, spending nights in a car, and living temporarily with a friend or relative. Statistically, these numbers are disproportionately higher among BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, as well as students who have aged out of foster care.

“We are so appreciative of the support Assemblymember Barrett is providing to these students with limited resources yet unlimited potential,” said DCC President Peter Grant Jordan. “This kind of investment can have a life-altering impact on these young individuals, changing their career and income trajectories in ways they’ve only dreamed.”

Another important program activity will be individualized care management services for each student. They will be delivered by DCC CARES, the College’s Campus Assessment Response and Evaluation Support team, in close collaboration with on-campus partners. DCC CARES’ student resource navigator will work to connect these students to resources, which will further ease their mental, physical and financial health burdens and allow them to focus more on completing their programs and earning their degrees.

“We all know the power of a strong education – the game-changing potential it provides and the doors it opens, so I am very glad to be able to provide this critical funding for DCC’s housing and food insecure students,” Assemblymember Barrett added. “It is critical that we continue to remove barriers that keep our young people, particularly those who are experiencing challenging living situations, from continuing their education. They deserve the same opportunities for success, and this funding will help support them while they focus on realizing their dreams, rather than worrying about where their next meal or their next good night's sleep will come from.”

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