Housing Aids Improved Health, Well-being for College Kids
Apr 12, 2023
Liz Madison
Several adults in hardhats and shovels turn ceremonial dirt during groundbreaking event.

Student housing has always been a part of the college experience narrative. In years past, the historically short supply was seen as an inconvenience to students and a headache for parents. But today, even as student housing options may have expanded, affording that housing can potentially mean the difference between students pursuing higher education or not.

Colleges and universities understand the complexities of the issue and are offering a response. For example, Sierra College, a community college in Rocklin, Calif., broke ground on a campus-changing student housing complex. Once completed, it will provide housing for more than 350 students. Construction of the student housing project was made possible through funding from the State of California and Sierra College general funds. Through careful planning, the monthly rent for most students will be substantially below market rate for the area. Sutter Health’s community health investment of $250,000 over three years will support dorm room and board in perpetuity for a low-income student studying healthcare.

Man in suit and tie stands behind podium labeled with Sierra College logo addressing a event crowd

Dr. Peter Hull speaks from the podium at Sierra College’s groundbreaking event, April 11, 2023.

“We know that housing and transportation are significant insecurities for many people, including college students, and with this endowment to Sierra College, one student for a year will not have to have worry about where they’re going to be able to sleep and the food they eat,” said Dr. Peter Hull, interim CEO and chief medical executive of Sutter Roseville Medical Center. “That’s a tremendous benefit and we’re very pleased to be able to offer that to Sierra College students.”

Read more about the project in The Sacramento Bee

The most recent Community Health Needs Assessment identified access to basic needs, such as food and housing, as the number one health need in Placer County. Sutter Health recognized how an investment with Sierra College could help better meet that need given more than 55% of their students are economically disadvantaged, former foster youth, historically under-represented, or first-in-family to attend college. In addition, Sierra College estimates more than 100 of its students are experiencing homelessness. One of Sutter Health’s key priorities is to also better support more workforce development opportunities. By endowing a bed for a student pursuing a career in allied health, the organization helps widen the pipeline for talent.

“Sutter Health has a long history of investing in our communities— we are often so fortunate to collaborate with many organizations and partners across numerous sectors to support community-based solutions,” said Dr. Hull.

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