Harris will file legislation addressing student homelessness and food insecurity on Hoosier campuses

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State Rep. Earl L. Harris, Jr. of East Chicago issued the following statement today:

“I recently attended a conference hosted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. During a session on post-secondary education, I was concerned to learn that students from across the nation are struggling with food insecurity and homelessness. Instead of looking for a good place to study, they are looking for a warm place to sleep at night. Instead of concentrating on their classes, they are preoccupied with finding their next meal.

“This instability could potentially impact students’ physical and mental health as well as academic performance.

“Research from the Lumina Foundation indicates that nearly half of first-year students are living at or below the poverty level.

“The study also found that today’s college students are often older than 25 and are trying to balance school with work and families. Students of color are especially likely to play both the role of student and provider.       

“While some states such as California and Texas have taken first steps in learning more about this issue, there is little research available that explores the impact on Indiana’s student population.

“That’s why, during the 2019 legislative session, I will offer a bill that would require the state of Indiana to conduct an in-depth study of this issue. We owe it to the future members of our workforce.

“If you or someone you know has experienced food insecurity or homelessness while in pursuit of a college education, please feel free to reach out to me directly to share your story.”

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