2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Long Beach City College Foundation
Address: 4901 E. Carson Street, B-12
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director
Mission: Long Beach City College Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to support the College’s outstanding and evolving learning environment.
Budget: $3.7 million
ContactTitle: Vice-President, Helping Homeless LBCC Students Associate Group
Grant-purpose: To secure long-term housing, food, and other services for homeless LBCC students.
How-many-individuals: 10 students
What-is-project: The Helping Homeless LBCC Students Associate Group of the Long Beach City College Foundation supports homeless LBCC students to secure long-term housing and to access services that will allow them to maximize their educational opportunities.
At present, the State of California legislature, which sets the tuition and fees of all 110 California Community Colleges, has authorized a fee waiver for needy students. Currently, 60% of LBCC students receive a fee waiver and 90% of those students also receive federal financial aid through a Pell Grant of approximately $400 per month. Many qualify for federal work/study jobs on campus which pays $12 per hour for no more than 20 hours per week. While this may seem like sufficient funding, college and living expenses far exceed this income. Books can cost in excess of $500 per semester, rent ranges between $500 and $1500 per month, and even a bus pass costs more than $40 per month.
For those estimated 500 LBCC students who are homeless, expenses are even more difficult to meet. These students have encountered difficulty maintaining a stable home due to unforeseen personal experiences such as loss of a roommate to share expenses, divorce or abandonment, parental emancipation, and/or spousal or partner abuse, among other factors. Recent requests brought to the LBCC Foundation’s attention include 1st month’s rent for 6 students, a bed, tuition for a weapon’s class (for a security job), in addition to hotel vouchers from the city. In addition to providing financial support, our group ensures that all students are vetted, meet with an academic counselor, take a budget management class, and are supported to meet graduation requirements.
Our mission is directly aligned with the 2020 LBCF Community Impact Grant focus on the educational needs of homeless youth in Long Beach and we are pleased for the opportunity to submit this letter of intent.
How-will-you-succeed: One important measure of success is the students’ ability to maintain rent payments and stay in long-term housing. After the students secure housing with the support of our group, the LBCC Office of Institutional Effectiveness will track their academic progress towards the goal of graduation. We will continue to raise private funds from individuals and institutional partners to support financial assistance for housing, groceries, bus passes, etc. but we also have a dream for the future of providing on-campus housing or other housing in the community.
Who-are-you: Five years ago the LBCC Foundation Board of Governors heard a presentation by a member of the Office of Economic Opportunity. She thanked the Foundation for a grant to purchase text books and asked a student recipient to speak. In her talk, the student revealed that she was sleeping in a sleeping bag in the Horticulture area of the campus because she could not afford rent. A group of 2 LBCC Trustees, 5 LBCCF Governors, faculty, retired LBCC teachers and community volunteers came together and discovered that homelessness among LBCC students is a major barrier for completion of college courses. We immediately applied to become an Associate Group of the LBCC Foundation.
Since that time we have worked to support permanent housing for over 30 students. We have received grants from the Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation, F & M Bank, the Port of Long Beach in addition to many individual supporters. These funds have been designated to purchase bus passes, grocery gift cards, and help pay utility bills for students.
The group is chaired by LBCC Foundation Board member and securities advisor, Karen Codman. Task force members include Brian Russell, a Commercial Leasing Agent; Walter Larkins, CEO of CDR Financial Services; Mark Guillen, a business consultant; Barbara Cohen, representing National Council of Jewish Women; Sheri Zampelli, LBCC Human Services professor; Angela Fowlkes, LBCC Financial Aid Officer; Alicia Andujo, LBCC Counselor; Sunny Zia, LBCC 3rd District Trustee; and Ginny Baxter LBCC 5th District Trustee, among others.