What is CARE?
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.
When did CARE 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 that 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, 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 conclude 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 has CARE accomplished?
CARE in the news
CARE Community Partners
Click here for a list of our "Community Partners"