Humboldt State University

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Humboldt State Housing Conference Provokes Open-Community Dialogue on Issues of Homelessness

Dean Singh talking at Housing Conference

From November 28th to November 30th, the Homeless Student Advocacy Alliance (HSAA), along with students, faculty, social justice advocates, Humboldt County citizens, local indigenous populations, and homeless members, joined together for an open-community dialogue that discussed issues that the homeless population in Humboldt face. The event aimed to revitalize compassion within the community and develop an authentic understanding of the hardships of housing insecurity.

The first day entailed an afternoon sustainability fair, exhibiting student innovations and ideas of sustainable living. This was followed by an evening of Indigenous Insights and a open-forum night of storytelling featuring Jene McCovey, where attendees were presented with opportunities to share their stories.

The Second day consisted of a Social Justice Summit where insights and perspectives on social justice and breaking stigma were shared. The event featured Native speakers, Vernon Price, who is a highly knowledgeable advocate for homelessness rights, faculty members from the Department of Social Work, Multi-Cultural Center, and the Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives Organization, Manohar Singh, the Dean of the College of Professional Studies, and many other representatives from HSU.

The final day of the conference was held in the University Center Quad where student, faculty, and community projects that focused on anecdotal solutions to housing insecurity were proposed. Workshops were provided to share opportunities to help participants acquire skills that will help support different lifestyle choices and non-traditional dwellings.

The event was followed by a student-led campout where students and community members camped out on the quad to protest the current student homelessness crisis. Participants advocated for the University to keep sections of the University library open 24/7, change housing policies to include emergency housing for students in empty dormitory space, and to discontinue the enforcement of vagrancy laws.

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