28B.77.290  <<  28B.77.850 >>   28B.77.900

Homeless and foster care students pilot program. (Expires January 1, 2025.)

(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the council shall select four public four-year institutions of higher education, two on each side of the crest of the Cascade mountain range, to participate in a pilot program to provide assistance to students experiencing homelessness and to students who were in the foster care system when they graduated high school. The four-year institutions of higher education chosen to participate in the pilot program must provide certain accommodations to these students that may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Access to laundry facilities;
(b) Access to storage;
(c) Access to locker room and shower facilities;
(d) Reduced-price meals or meal plans, and access to food banks;
(e) Access to technology;
(f) Access to short-term housing or housing assistance, especially during seasonal breaks; and
(g) Case management services.
(2) The four-year institutions of higher education may also establish plans to develop surplus property for affordable housing to accommodate the needs of students experiencing homelessness and students who were in the foster care system when they graduated high school.
(3) The four-year institutions of higher education participating in the pilot program shall leverage existing community resources by making available to students in the pilot program information that is available for individuals experiencing homelessness, including through not-for-profit organizations, the local housing authority, and the department of commerce's office of homeless youth.
(4) The four-year institutions of higher education participating in the pilot program shall provide a joint report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2023, that includes at least the following information:
(a) The number of students experiencing homelessness or food insecurity, and the number of students who were in the foster care system when they graduated high school who were attending a four-year institution of higher education during the pilot program. The council shall coordinate with all of the four-year institutions of higher education to collect voluntary data on how many students experiencing homelessness or food insecurity are attending the four-year institutions of higher education;
(b) The number of students assisted by the pilot program;
(c) Strategies for accommodating students experiencing homelessness or food insecurity, and former foster care students; and
(d) Legislative recommendations for how students experiencing homelessness or food insecurity, and former foster care students could be better served.
(5) The four-year institutions of higher education not selected to participate in the pilot program are:
(a) Invited to participate voluntarily; and
(b) Encouraged to submit the data required of the pilot program participants under subsection (4) of this section, regardless of participation status.
(6) The pilot program expires July 1, 2024.
(7) This section expires January 1, 2025.
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