College students are already subject to stress from academics, social pressure from friends, and personal transition from being a dependent to becoming an independent who can no longer count on their elders to book their doctor’s appointments or prepare their after class meals. While these stresses are psychological and no college student is immune to them, one factor that unfairly adds to the struggles of poverty-stricken students is that of physical need of shelter, financial support for text books, as well as insurance requirements for health services. The need for such services that students from financially stable families take for granted, add to the stresses of homeless students exponentially.
The question shifts from being able to afford a fancy top for a party to being able to afford a blanket to cover them during the shrilling winter months. The question transitions from being able to get a ride back home from a friend to being able to even find a bed to sleep on. The question is no longer of whether to spend money on spring break to the Bahamas or save the money for a new car, instead the question is of whether to fill one’s stomach or insure a better grade by investing in a rented textbook. And finally, the question is not of being able to succeed in school but to be able to survive.
While no one’s struggles are greater or worse, it is undoubtedly the case that poverty stricken students are restricted to a broken ladder to climb up the tree of success and the repair of that ladder is up to us, the members of Project Cahir, to make the climb a little less rocky.