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Scholars in Squalor

To most Santa Cruz people, high priced rentals are of the norm. Scholars have come from far and wide to attend beautiful Cabrillo College, but are ending up in unpleasant living situations, like some students who are left with no other option than to live in squalor due to a lack of affordable housing.

“Whatever it takes,” Jessica Flores, a 35 year old Cabrillo student said.
In an attempt to better her life, Jessica lives in a house with several other people unfamiliar to her because it’s all she can afford. She can’t focus when there’s commotion late at night, and shares a bathroom with random visitors that don’t clean up after themselves. Dealing with drunks on a regular basis is mentally draining and causes her stress.
“Sometimes I don’t even want to go anywhere because I’m scared somebody will steal something out of my room,” Jessica said, and “it’s hard to finish homework with a bunch of people hanging around.”
That isn’t the way she wants to live; therefore, she studies hard day in and day out to one day live the American way of life she’s always dreamed about.

Perhaps there would be less homeless students if the “housing crisis” were made clear to them upon enrollment. Many move to attend Cabrillo unaware of the severities in standard housing shortages. As a result, Cabrillo’s student success rates will drop. Student finances generally aren’t  nearly enough to pay the greedily calculated rent prices around here these days. The sole purpose of a student is to acquire knowledge that’ll ensure their futures and enhance their value in societies. Ultimately it makes the world a better place.

Andre Stewart is in his 2nd semester at Cab. And wants nothing more than to find his purpose on this earth, and believes will find it through education. Andre lives in his car that breaks down sometimes. Though risky at times he parks his car where overnight parking is allowed, and sleeps in it. He gets most his meals on campus on a frugal eating budget. With no family around to stay with, or place to call home, he still perseveres with faith in his heart that one day he will get through this hard place in life.
Andre can however afford up to $450 per month for rent, and is not picky about what he looks for, but unfortunately even dingy little spaces are costing more than that. He continues his search by routinely checking the web and local bulletin boards in hopes that he will find a place to live. For now, every night when it’s time for bed, Andre covers himself with blankets and reclines his seat back as far as it goes and thinks about days to come.