"The CARE center and their team were the anchors I needed to stay afloat my first semester at KSU. It's great to know that there are people and resources willing to help in a time of crisis or just for a boost in motivation." CARE Student, Class of 2019
Who are we?
The Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment (CARE) Services offers support to students who are dealing with:
- Homelessness, or are at-risk of being homeless,
- Food insecurity and/or
- Students previously or currently in foster care.
In collaboration with various KSU departments such as Admissions, Financial Aid, Campus Housing, etc., CARE provides case management, access to the campus pantry, personal care items and assists in accessing temporary and/or permanent housing.
Lastly, through EMBARK, CARE serves as the University System of Georgia Designated Single Point of Contact (DPOC) for homeless and foster care students.
Where did we start?
KSU’s first homeless student was identified in the 1980’s, however it wasn’t until 2006 when a student fainted in a classroom efforts were made amongst, university faculty and staff to address the issue. After speaking with the student it was discovered that she had not eaten for several days, due to financial and situational constraints. As a result, the KSU Student Health Services and the Staff Senate began a campus pantry, entitled Feed the Future.
On October 13, 2008, KSU provided an opportunity for students to learn more about homelessness via the first annual Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) event. Activities typically concludes with an on-campus Sleep-Out, which increases knowledge and understanding of living without reliable shelter and food, and sometimes living without hope. HAW is the result of the passion and dedication of Professor Emeritus Dr. Lana Wachniak in collaboration with community organizations and campus departments. HAW has been recognized nationally and locally. In July 2012, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-GA) read a proclamation into the Congressional Record praising the efforts to raise awareness about the problem. In September 2012, the program received proclamations from the state of Georgia, Cobb County, and the city of Kennesaw.
During the 2011-2012 Academic Year, 25 homeless students were identified and provided with supportive services by Marcy Stidum while she worked within KSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Factors contributing to students becoming homeless ranged from eviction due to lack of financial resources, parental death, domestic violence, support system rejecting their sexual identity/orientation, displacement of veterans, and so forth. After students continued to be identified and the number of referrals began to increase, KSU officially formalized the Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment (CARE) Services in May 2013.
In September 2014, both Feed the Future and HAW were consolidated under the direction of CARE. The fusion of these services helped CARE to become a single point of access to services and resources, both on and off campus, for KSU students with issues surrounding homelessness, food insecurity, and foster care.
What have we accomplished?
Will my information remain confidential?
The Kennesaw State University CARE Services is located within KSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services and is under the supervision of licensed counseling professionals. Therefore, CARE adheres to the standards of confidentiality set forth by Georgia law as well as by our respective professional standards & ethical codes (i.e., the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers).
The information you share is confidential. CARE staff may consult with other team members and/or CPS counseling professionals in order to better assist students. A signed Consent for Release of Confidential Information form is required to disclose any information about your experience to a 3rd party.
Exceptions to confidentiality may occur only under certain circumstances. These exceptions include:
- You may request (by means of a signed release) that CARE reveal information to other individuals or agencies of your choice
- Imminent threats to the safety and well-being of yourself or others
- When release of confidential information is required by court order
When abuse, neglect or exploitation of children or adults who are vulnerable due to physical or mental impairment or advanced age is suspected.
CARE in the news
Click here for a list of our "Community Partners"