In the summer of 2020, College Housing Northwest (CHNW) initiated the Affordable Rents for College Students (ARCS) program to provide rental subsidies to students most in need of housing assistance. Through ARCS, over 45 students now have stable housing, and postsecondary institutions and nonprofits are more aware of the extent of housing instability among our youth.
Additionally, our recent partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS), Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (YEHP), has resulted in ARCS Plus to provide free housing assistance for young people, 18-24, enrolled in college or other post-secondary training programs. Whereas ARCS students are required to contribute 50% of their rent, those enrolled in ARCS Plus are fully subsidized.
As Matt Rasmussen, YEHP Program Coordinator, has noted, “Every young person deserves secure, stable housing. This partnership between the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program and College Housing Northwest is a necessary step for intentional youth—specific housing opportunities for those currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”
Through the grant provided by DHS, CHNW is also partnering with New Avenues for Youth to provide case management and referrals for youth most in need of assistance. ARCS Plus will be housing 25 youth rent-free until July 1, 2023, and we hope that this program will become a model for student assistance in other parts of Oregon and beyond.
“I now have a stable home and I am more motivated than ever to succeed and earn my degree. Thank you to the ARCS program staff and employees. You are amazing!”– ARCS Student
(Students must be referred through an ARCS partner to be eligible.)